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Seeds of Wellness Blog

How to Make Changes in Your Home that Protect the Environment

The evidence for climate change is getting harder and harder to refute. NASA satellite monitoring has shown that carbon dioxide levels stand at about 400 parts per million. Before 1950, that level had never been higher than 300 parts per million, reflecting a precipitous increase in the buildup of carbon dioxide and other gases that trap heat. Many homeowners are responding to the crisis by looking for new and innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Many of the most fundamental materials used in home construction and renovations are made of toxic components that are known to be harmful to the environment. Fortunately, there are many green-friendly changes you can make in your home that are also friendly to your budget.

Decrease toxins in your home

Pay close attention to the composition of things like insulation, carpeting, and paints. If they’re high in volatile organic compounds and harmful chemicals, replace them with alternatives that minimize or eliminate substances that find their way into the ecosystem and break down the fragile balance of nature. If you’re concerned that going green means going off the grid and swearing off dairy and red meats, relax. You can be an environmentally sensitive homeowner and still lead a comfortable life in an attractive home.

Insulation

Insulation is one of those things you don’t think about, but you certainly notice when it’s ineffective. That’s why so many homeowners are content with traditional fiberglass insulation (as long as their homes are warm and their heating bills are under control). However, small fiberglass particles that break away pose a serious indoor air quality threat and escape into the atmosphere—children are especially vulnerable. Look for a safer option, such as GreenFiber Cocoon, which is made of recycled newspaper and treated with a flame-retardant substance. Best of all for retrofitters, it can be blown through walls via small holes.

Carpeting

Homeowners also tend to overlook the toxic effects of carpeting, even though it contains a host of carcinogens, like toluene, formaldehyde, benzene, and styrene, which have been proven lethal in laboratory animal studies. In humans, these chemicals can cause respiratory problems and even nerve damage. You can protect the environment and your home’s indoor air quality with floor coverings made from natural, recyclable fibers, such as jute, rush, or even seagrass.

PaintMan Pouring Paint Into Tray

Enamel and other commonly used house paints contain toxic solvents that may produce headaches, dizziness, and labored breathing, particularly in people who struggle with allergies and asthma problems. They also contribute to widespread atmospheric pollution. Consider replacing enamel-based paints with alternatives made from safe, natural products like clay, water, bee’s wax, plant dyes, natural oils, or chalk. If you’re uncertain whether a product is environmentally safe, look for the Green Seal stamp, meaning it’s been certified by a nationwide nonprofit organization.

Ceiling Fans

Inefficient heating and cooling is a problem in many homes, especially those with aging HVAC units. Ceiling fans are an excellent year-round investment because they can blow warm air down to floor level during the cold months and circulate cool air during the summer. They’re relatively easy to install, which makes them good candidates for remodeling and home upgrades. Most importantly, they can substantially reduce heating and cooling costs. If you’re looking for a more ambitious home-heating option, check into solar panels. According to HomeAdvisor, the national average price to install solar panels ranges from $15,513 to $29,016.

Grassroots Change

Environmentally responsible community action can take many forms. Composting and community gardens are excellent ways to produce sustainable, healthy food (they’re also a good way to get some exercise and fresh air). Community-wide recycling has also become a popular activity in recent years. In fact, neighborhood recycling drives are pretty commonplace these days.

Environmental responsibility begins at home. Using products made from natural materials can protect our environment as well as your family from dangerous chemicals. Just bear in mind that it’s easier to take it a step at a time than to try and change everything at once.

Article by Natalie Jones
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Balancing Your Chakras with Gemstones

Locations of seven chakrasDo you feel your energy and/or body is out of balance? Using gemstones that correspond to each chakra can help re-align your energy and body.

Below is a guide to help you choose a gemstone for each chakra:

  • Crown (white/violet) – Clear Quartz, Selenite or Diamond
  • Third Eye (indigo) – Amethyst, Lepidolite or Fluorite
  • Throat (blue) – Kyanite, Turquoise or Lapis Lazuli
  • Heart (green) – Rose Quartz, Jade or Rhodochrosite
  • Solar Plexus (yellow) – Citrine, Yellow Tiger’s Eye or Calcite
  • Sacral (orange) – Carnelian, Moonstone or Amber
  • Root (red) – Bloodstone, Hematite or Red Jasper

Different sources name different gemstones, but the ones listed above are the most common.

To balance a chakra, lay on your back. Place the gemstone on or near its corresponding chakra. Close your eyes and visualize your energy flowing freely through that chakra for 7 to 15 minutes. You can balance several chakras by placing a gemstone on each chakra you need to balance.

These stones can also be placed near you as you sleep, wearing them as jewelry or carrying them with you. The closer the gemstone is to its corresponding chakra the faster the gemstone balances that chakra.

Some gemstones help balance the chakras in more than one way:

  • Smoky Quartz – grounds the chakras from the crown to the root
  • Malachite – opens and cleanses all the chakras
  • Tourmaline – cleanses and protects all the chakras
  • Kyanite – aligns all the chakras to each other

Note: Before and after the chakra balancing, the gemstones you used should be cleansed with salt water, placing in the sunlight or putting the gemstones with Citrine or Kyanite.

When your chakras are in balance you may feel relaxed, less stressed and/or energized. However, balancing your chakras is not a medical solution. Call your doctor if you are experiencing any health concerns.

Want to learn more about the energy of gemstones for healing, balancing and protection? Call 440-933-7733 to register for our class, “Learning About Gemstone Energy”, on Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Learn more about chakras on our blog post, “What Are Chakras?”.

 

Sources:

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Home Improvements that Help Support a Healthy Life

Sometimes, you make home improvements to increase value. However, there are changes you can make that help support a healthy life for you and your family. From reducing allergens to building peace of mind, these home improvements increase your comfort and health.

Improving Your Physical Health

You may have heard of toxic building syndrome. This is when a large structure sickens the people who work there. This can happen to your home and hurt your family’s health. But by making a few changes, you can have a home that’s healthy for everyone.

ClevelandClinic.org recommends you focus on the air quality. Change the filters in your HVAC system every two to three months. If possible, stick with hard floors. Carpeting looks nice, but it ends up trapping allergens and dust that contribute to indoor air pollution. In addition, make sure you ventilate the home when using cleaning chemicals. These can linger in the air and trigger asthma attacks.

Another health problem in the home is sunlight. Although natural light is a good thing to have in a home, sunlight has ultraviolet rays that can lead to skin cancer. Since you’re not outdoors, it’s easy to forget the impact of sunlight. Living Better 50 suggests adding UVA-filtering films to the windows in your house. This way, you can enjoy the natural lighting while protecting your family.

Improving your health

Image Source: Pixabay

Creating a Mental Health Retreat

When looking into home improvements you can make, don’t neglect your family’s mental health, which plays a huge role in physical well-being. That’s why you should consider creating a room in your home for a mental health retreat.

One such space is a reading room. As Bustle explains, reading has many mental health benefits. It relaxes you, improves your empathy, and decreases your stress. Even though this is a short respite, it can help you feel better. To create a reading room, start with a room that goes unused like a spare bedroom. Paint the walls in natural but muted colors, and keep the decorations to a minimum. Finally, put in a relaxing place to read like a comfortable chair or couch.

Building Peace of Mind

Building your peace of mind also supports a healthy life. You can achieve this by making sure your home is secure through a home security system and timed lights for when you’re away. Modern systems work over the internet and can be very affordable. Imagine being at work each day knowing your home is safe.

Beyond that, install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Test them regularly and replace the batteries each season. While these might not sound like a major home improvement, they are crucial to protecting your family at home.

Improving Home & Health

Overall, making the right home improvements can help support you and your family’s health. Get rid of carpeting, create a reading room, and install smoke detectors and timed lights. Your home should be a restful and healthy place for your entire family, and these improvements can help that become a reality.

Article by Natalie Jones
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How Gratitude Can Improve Your Life

At least once a year in November we celebrate what we are thankful for in our lives. Why is this important and should we be doing it more than once or twice a year?

What is Gratitude?

According to the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, Robert Emmons, there are two key components to gratitude. “First, it’s an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good thing in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. …The second part of gratitude is figuring out where that goodness comes from. We recognize the sources of this goodness as being outside of ourselves.”*

What Are The Benefits of Being Grateful?

There are 7 scientifically proven benefits of gratitude**:

  • Gratitude opens the door to more relationships” – by saying “thank you” to others, it shows we appreciate them. Many times, saying “thank you” can lead to new opportunities.
  • Gratitude improves physical health” – according to a 2012 study, people who are thankful take better care of their health and have few aches and pains.
  • Woman smiling as she thinks about what she is thankful for today.Gratitude improves psychological health” – Robert Emmons’ studies show that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.
  • Gratitude enhances empathy and reduces aggression” – grateful people are less likely to retaliate and show more empathy towards people, according to a University of Kentucky study.
  • Grateful people sleep better” – a 2011 study about gratitude journals found people who wrote grateful statements before bed slept better and longer.
  • Gratitude improves self-esteem” – appreciation of other’s accomplishments is an essential aspect of peak and better job performance.
  • Gratitude increases mental strength” – many studies over the years prove that being thankful and showing gratitude makes the person more resilient, quicker to over come trauma and have lower stress levels.

Many of these same benefits are listed in a Times article, “7 Surprising Health Benefits of Gratitude”. For a larger list of benefits, visit “The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life” by Amit Amin on Happier Human.

Ways to Explore Gratitude

Here are some suggestions to cultivate gratitude***:

  • Keep a gratitude journal – every night before going to bed write down a couple of sentences about one or two things you’re grateful for today.
  • Write a thank you note – thank a person for something they do which improves your life and send it to them or give it to them personally. You may consider writing a thank you note to yourself.
  • Mediate – as you clear your mind, focus on something you are grateful for like the warmth of the sun, your pet(s), a favorite food, etc.
  • Pray – say prayers of gratitude, thanking the divine for people and things you have in your life that bring you happiness.
  • Say thank you to someone – tell a person “thank you” even if it is a stranger who held the door open for you.

Write a thank you note to someone
Like any new habit, taking time to be grateful everyday will not come easy at first and the benefits not seen right away. However, the more you do it, the easier it will become and the more you will see the benefits it has on your life.

 
Get support and encouragement to be grateful and show gratitude by joining Seeds of Wellness’ free “Sharing Gratitude Group” that meets the second Saturday of every month from 10:30 to 11:30am. We will share what we are thankful for in our lives, talk about our struggles to be grateful and discuss the benefits we are noticing as we explore reasons for gratitude.  See the dates for this group in our Google Calendar on our Events and Services page.

 
Sources:

* “Why Gratitude Is Good”, by Robert Emmons, Greater Good Magazine

** “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude” by Amy Morin, Psychology Today

*** “In Praise of Gratitude” from Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School

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Bayberry Candle Christmas and New Year’s Eve Tradition

Giving and lighting a bayberry candle on Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve has been a long time American tradition. The history dates back to colonial times.

The early colonists of North America discovered bayberries gave off a greenish-white waxy residue when boiled. By saving the bayberry wax, they used it to make taper candles. However, it was time-consuming and took many bayberries – “nearly 18 pounds of the berries to get about 2 pounds of wax” – to make enough wax for a single candle. “Some communities passed laws to protect the bayberry crop from early harvest. The result was a high value; bayberry candles became a luxury item, saved for special use.

Adding beeswax to the bayberry wax helped the candles hold their shape and not break due to the brittleness of the pure bayberry wax. Most of these candles were only burned during the darkest times of the year. Therefore, a ritual of burning the bayberry candle at Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve became a tradition.

The bayberry candle was lit at a specific time, so it stays burning after midnight.  The candle remained alight until it burned out on its own. “If the candle burned down to the socket, abundance would bless everyone participating in the ritual,” according to the tradition.

 

Bayberry Candle Poems

Verse 1

This bayberry candle comes from a friendBayberry votive and pillar candles
So on Christmas Eve burn it down to the end.
For a bayberry candle burned to the socket,
Will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.

 

Verse 2

Here’s a Bayberry Candle that’s meant just for you,
With Holiday Tradition that’s tried and true.
When you light this candle on Christmas Eve Day,
Love and Luck come to you when it’s burned all the way!

 

Verse 3

To bring good luck for a year,
you must burn a Bayberry Candle on Christmas Day.
And if the flame burns bright, and the light shines clear,
then heaven will bless you all the year.

“A slightly different version of the invocation delivers the same message: ‘A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings luck to the household, food to the larder and gold to the pocket.’”

 

We hope that burning a bayberry candle this Christmas Eve and/or New Year’s Eve will bring you good fortune and prosperity for the coming year.

If you are looking for a bayberry candle, Seeds of Wellness sell bayberry votive and pillar candles made by Sacred Path Candles.

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How to Take a Vacation That’s Good for You

Like a thankless American badge of honor, 2016 ended like many other years gone by – with a ton of paid vacation time left unused. $61.4 billion dollars worth to be exact, which represents the 55% of Americans who left 658 million paid vacation days on the table. But according to Project Time Off, those who skip their vacations could be harming their careers, not helping: “Employees who take 10 or less days of vacation time are less likely to have received a raise or bonus in the last three years than those who took 11 days or more.” In addition to being passed over for bonuses, they also cheat themselves out of the mental health benefits and self-healing that can result from traveling.

To make the most of your next vacation (because you’re not going to skip it, right?) follow these tips to get the mental health benefits from your time away, while avoiding the stress associate with travel.

The Average American Vacation

Since the biggest recorded barrier to taking vacation time is the worry of returning to a mountain of work, many Americans make themselves accessible during their time off. According to science, this negates the rejuvenation found by getting away.

For a true rejuvenation and healing of body and mind that should occur with a vacation, we need to have that disconnection,” Dr. Vatsal Thakkar, clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the NYU Langone Medical Center, told CBS News. “It’s a little bit almost narcissistic to think that the world will stop if we don’t answer this email or return this call.”

Vacation brings peace and relaxation

Why (and How) You Should Use Your Vacation Time

The first step to taking your vacation is to plan for time off from work, which may have some beneficial side effects. Simply planning your vacation time correlates with increased happiness with your partner, your children, your job, your financial well-being and your health.

You should also avoid the stereotypical American vacation – over scheduling, which causes more stress instead of relieving it. To avoid this pitfall, be sure to plan downtime for exploring and simply relaxing.

Addiction Recovery and Travel

Travel allows you to experience new places, people and experiences; can also be a wonderful healing opportunity for those recovering from addiction. Not only does travel create an opportunity for perspective, traveling in natural surroundings has healing effects of its own.

“There’s a lot of data coming out on just the fact of being in nature,” Thakkar said. “There’s something about the smells, the sounds, even there’s some evidence on the bacteria that we find in nature actually have antidepressant property.”

And just as you would ground an electrical system, new scientific evidence shows that grounding ourselves through direct contact with the electrons on the Earth’s surface is a “profoundly effective environmental strategy against chronic stress, ANS dysfunction, inflammation, pain, poor sleep, disturbed HRV, hypercoagulable blood, and many common health disorders, including cardiovascular disease”. This may also help during the recovery process.

The Benefits of Vacationing with Your Pet

Take your dog on vacation with you

Since you’re now considering adding health-promoting outdoor experiences to your upcoming vacation, you might decide to bring along your furry friend(s). You won’t be alone, either. Eighty-five percent of those surveyed for PetRelocation.com’s annual Summer Pet Travel Survey said they bring their dog along on their travels.

One benefit of traveling with your pet is he or she serves as an adorable ice-breaker for meeting other vacationers and locals. Not only that, your animal is sure to keep you active and outdoors during your time away – and you won’t have to walk away from those big, sad eyes when you leave, either.

So if you’re in need of some time off, get it scheduled and enjoy some extra happiness. Plan a vacation that not only provides you an escape from the everyday but rejuvenates your health and well-being. You’ll be glad you did.

Article by Henry Moore

 

Seed of Wellness hopes you set aside vacation time this holiday season to enjoy spending time with the people and pets you love.

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Cannabidiol: from Abusive Drug to Potential Cure

The benefits of CBDCannabis has always been perceived as a contemptuous drug even though it bears numerous health benefits. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 60 active cannabinoids identified in both cannabis and industrial hemp. When hearing about cannabidiol, people are often overwhelmed with questions and uncertainty about what exactly CBD is and how it may benefit them.

Due to the presence of CBD in Cannabis, it has been cultivated for thousands of years and used for various medicinal, psychoactive, and physical properties or merely for recreational purposes. In the ancient times, CBD was used to tackle anxiety and reducing severe migraines. Even though CBD was first discovered in 1940 by Dr. Roger Adams and his team at the University of Illinois, its structure didn’t attain clarification until 1963 after much research.

For a long time, medical professionals and the general public overlooked CBD because psychoactive cannabis took all the attention. Nowadays, CBD has caught some notice due to its various medical traits but is still tagged as illegal in most countries because it is found in the toxic drug Cannabis. Nevertheless, you can still find CBD at various medical stores and hospitals. In the US, CBD is viewed quite differently. Patients pursuing CBD treatments do not require a prescription to acquire CBD hemp oil. They incorporate CBD in their diet as a needful dietary supplement.

CBD does not have psychoactive effects unlike its counterpart THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, which causes a ‘high’. Thus, it’s minimal side effects make it secure to use. According to a paper by NIDA, CBD acts to reduce the intoxicating effects of THC, such as memory impairment and paranoia. Though CBD helps induce sleep, some studies suggest that when given together with THC, this molecule appeared to counteract some of the residual sedative activities of THC. Contrary to THC, CBD oil does not cause variations in heart rate, blood pressure or body temperature.

Examine the infographic to get a better understanding of CBD’s health potential.

Article by Marcia Hines

 

Call, 440-933-7733, or come into Seeds of Wellness and learn about our CBD products by Blue Moon Hemp.

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Auras – What Are They?

How many times have you felt uncomfortable being near someone or felt like you have known the person your entire life? What you felt was the person’s aura. Everyone can learn to see, feel and sense auras to some extent.

Definition: “an energy field that is held to emanate from a living being” – Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Energy is a vibration created by protons, electrons and neutrons. These vibrations emit colors and frequencies around living and non-living items and are called auras. While the aura around non-living items (stones, cloths, houses, etc.) is mainly fixed, auras around living objects (humans, plants, animals, etc.) changes.

Aura around a personAuras extend around people about three feet from their physical body. However, your aura may extend further or be closer to your body, and the size can vary day to day. You may have sensed someone’s aura as you got closer to the person, and the closer you are to someone, the more you interrupt the flow of energy around yourself and them.

Each person has their own unique aura containing one or more colors that reflect their energy. The common aura colors are white, silver, red, orange, yellow, gold, green, blue, violet, black, brown and rainbow. These colors can show malfunctions in the body, levels of spiritual consciousness as well as emotional and rational states.

Like gemstones, your aura may need to be cleansed at times. Your aura can become thinner on one side compared to the other side, shrink upwards from your feet, have jagged edges, become flattened above your head or less vibrant in color. You can cleanse your aura one of the following ways:

  • Meditation – “Close your eyes, picture a white light radiating from within your body, and then imagine it flowing through your whole system from head to toe. Think of that bright light clearing out the dullness in your aura and bringing you back to a healthy centeredness.” from “What Is An Aura? 6 Things to Know About the Spiritual Idea of Auras”
  • Sessions with an energy healer
  • Smudge yourself with white sage, sweet grass or cedarwood
  • Spritz your body with spring water and a few drops of an essential oil like lemon, lime or juniper
  • Carry smoky quartz, obsidian, selenite or flint in your pocket or wear as jewelry
  • Take a warm bath with one cup or more of sea salt dissolved in the water

 

If you would like to learn how to see auras, sign up for our aura class on Thursday, September 14, 2017 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Seating is limited, so call Seeds of Wellness (440-933-7733) to reserve your spot now.

Sources:

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Cartomancy: Divination with Playing Cards

Almost everyone has heard of Tarot Decks and Tarot readers. But do you know that you can also do divination using a traditional deck of cards?

Cartomancy-divination with playing cardsWhen doing a prophecy or divination reading using playing cards, it is called cartomancy. The exact beginning and origins of this practice is a mystery, but playing cards are known to be used in ancient India and for prophetic readings in Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs. Around the 14th century, divination readings using playing cards appeared in Europe spread by gypsies and became popular starting in the 18th century.

People are called Cartomancers or Card Readers, who perform divination readings with cards. The original playing cards, called Mamluk, from the Middle East consisted of four suits that related to Earth, Wind, Fire and Water and 52 cards. These cards predate Tarot cards, which were first seen in the 1300s.

Like Tarot readings, there are various card spreads you can use with playing cards. Each suit and card has its own meaning. For instance: Clubs are about money/finance and the Eight of Clubs represents trouble in business, relationships and personal as well as jealousy and greed.

To learn more about cartomancy and how to read playing cards, sign up for our upcoming “Introduction to Cartomancy” on August 17 from 6:30-8:00pm. Call 440-933-7733 for more information and to sign up now.

Sources:

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Do You Have Psychometry Abilities?

Like all abilities, some of us are better at a skill than others. However, we can improve our abilities through practice. What are psychometry abilities?

Have you ever picked up a piece of jewelry at a garage sale and quickly put it down because you didn’t like the way it made you feel? Perhaps you feel overwhelmed with emotions, smells, etc. in antique stores. Can you locate items quickly? If you relate to any of these statements you may have experienced your psychometry abilities.

Everyone has some psychometry abilities.Psychometry, sometimes called “sensing with fingers”, is the ability to pick up information from the energy of an object or place by touching or holding them. The energetic information you receive relates to the people connected to the item or location. The longer the object or place is near or on a person, the more information about the person you may receive.

As you hold or touch an object you may hear, see, smell, touch or sense things from it. Don’t dismiss any of the energetic information you are receiving because it may not seem like anything to you but could be important to the person who owns the object.

Like all skills, it takes practice to become a psychometry master. You will get better at receiving energetic information with practice by just touching objects, clearing your mind, relaxing and allow yourself to receive information.

 

Interested in learning how to develop your psychometry abilities? Call us at 440-933-7733 to sign up for our “Learning Psychometry” class taught by psychic, Rev. Greg Nicholas on Thursday, July 13, 2017 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Seating is limited, so you reserve your seat today!

To learn more about this and other events, please visit our “Events & Services” webpage.

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