Woodford Files: How Mindfulness Can Help You Live Longer – And Better

What a wild and exciting year it’s been for us here at Vitality, a year filled with great writing, new readers, and loyal advertisers. At the recent Whole Life Expo (www.wholelifeexpo.ca) we were touched by the waves of affection that washed over us from hundreds of fans, and we are filled with gratitude. Now as Winter Solstice approaches, we’re in the mood for a little inspiration, so we bring you a magical cover illustration this month entitled ‘The Nature of Spirit’, by local artist Ritchie Sinclair.*

We’ve also got some great writing on board in this issue, writing which spans the gamut from Michael Downey’s report on the latest research in nutrition, to Dr. Rona’s take on a case of childhood adenoids, to homeopathy for asthma and Chinese Medicine for adrenal exhaustion. From bumper to bumper, we’ve got you covered.

Also included in the line-up is our lead story by Mariya Garnet, a woman who survived mercury poisoning by detoxing her body with chelation remedies. While building a retreat centre in the Amazon, she had started feeling depressed and lethargic for no apparent reason. Upon investigation, she discovered that the cause was heavy metal contamination. More specifically, regular consumption of the local fish had pushed her body into mercury overload. The subsequent methods she used for detoxing the metal from her tissues is something we can all learn from in these times of widespread environmental pollution.

(If you want to share your own strategies for detoxing, send them to: letters@vitalitymagazine.com)

Indeed, if I learned one thing this year, it’s that there’s no such thing as “out there” because ultimately whatever is “out there” ends up “in here” as we eat and drink and breathe in our environment every day. So the concept of separation is an illusion, one that’s destroying our planet, and it’s vital that we wake up to the impact of our every choice. For example, if I use conventional detergents to wash my clothes, with no regard for the chemicals, phosphates, and artificial fragrances in them, not only do I pollute my own tissues and increase my risk of cancer as chemicals seep from the clothing into my skin, but I also pollute the air in my home and neighbourhood, choking the birds and triggering allergies in my family and friends as my clothing off-gasses its chemical haze wherever I go. Conversely, if I choose to spend a few extra bucks on phosphate-free biodegradable detergent, then suddenly my environmental footprint is not so heavy, my risk of disease goes down, and the fish and birds can breathe a sigh of relief.

Likewise, if I decide to carry a plastic water bottle along as I “run for the cure” or just go about my business, then not only do I support an industry that is stealing the fresh groundwater out from under us (http://o.canada.com/news/nestle-bottled-water-cost), I am also drinking water contaminated with BPA. This water ironically increases cancer risk while its plastic packaging adds to the mountains of waste clogging up landfill sites by the ton.

And if I choose to mindlessly munch my way through genetically modified convenience foods (wheat, corn, soy, canola, etc.) instead of organic and non-gmo foods, not only am I placing myself at elevated risk of disease, I am also contributing to the demand for harmful farming practices that use farming methods that require large doses of chemicals on genetically modified crops.

So this year the message became painfully clear – with one swipe of my credit card I can either support industries that are pillaging the environment and poisoning people and the planet, or I can reward those that are acting with green integrity in the world. This holiday season is a great opportunity to practice mindful shopping, so I plan to blow my budget in the health food stores and locally-owned shops around the province, where integrity abounds.  ~ Julia Woodford

* ‘The Nature of Spirit’ by artist Ritchie Sinclair depicts the sacred balance of masculine and feminine that inspires the creative child within to emerge. Ritchie ‘Stardreamer’ Sinclair, of Scottish Lineage from Thunder Bay, Canada, apprenticed with shaman artist Norval Morrisseau, and is a founding member of the Thunderbird School of Shamanistic Arts.

To view his recent work visit: http://lovescapes.ca