Welcome to Whatcom Natural Health!

Whatcom Natural Health is a community health directory where you can find and review businesses that support your healthy lifestyle:

-stores, markets and farmstands
-alternative medicine practitioners
-yoga and pilates studios
-massage therapists
-gyms and trainers

Browse the categories on the left or use the search box to get started.

Whatcom Food & Farm Finder Now Available as Google Map

Sustainable Connections has loaded its Whatcom Food & Farm Finder brochure into a very cool interactive online map. The map key lists all vendors in alphabetical order, with icons that identify the type of business: leaf for farms, basket for shopping, knife and fork for restaurants. Click on a business name for details, contact information, and directions.

View Whatcom Food & Farm Finder Map in a larger map

David, Jessica LMT, RMT

Bear Hug Massage
225 Marine Drive
Blaine, WA 98230

I began BearHug Massage Therapy in 2002, after graduating with honours from Ashmead College. I am Nationally certified, and have training in several modalities, including CranioSacral Therapy, Reiki, and Positional Release. My favourite pastime is learning new massage techniques to help you heal and relax!

My basic philosophy is to listen well. You and your body both give me the clues and direction I need to facilitate your healing and relaxation. Just as no two bodies are alike, there is no set program for treating new or chronic injuries or pain. Your massage is tailored to your comfort and needs.

I enjoy working with clients of all ages, and especially encourage those folks of larger size, or those with body/self esteem issues, or folks dealing with PTSD to come in and get a massage! Every body is welcome here, in a safe, comfortable and kind environment.

Licenses/designations: Nationally certified, Licensed Massage Therapist, Reiki Master
Specialties: injury treatment, CranioSacral Therapy
Conditions treated: Any muscular strain, sprain, overuse, tension or pain, including neck, back, arms, legs, hands, feet, head; TMJ, stress, headaches, etc.
Education, honors, etc.: Graduated at top of class with honors, Ashmead College for Massage Therapy
Office hours: In Blaine – Monday 10:00 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday, Thursday and every other Wednesday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm. In Bellingham – every other Wednesday 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
Insurance accepted: In Blaine – Group Health Regence, First Choice, Aetna, Premera, L&I, PIP, just about every insurance in the area. In Bellingham – First Choice, Aetna, Premera, L&I, PIP, just about every insurance in the area except Group Health and Regence.
Payment options: Cash, check

Neighborhood Harvest Farm

Mary von Krusenstiern
(360) 393-1413

Neighborhood Harvest raises mixed vegetables and herbs on three plots in Bellingham, WA. Maintaining sustainable farming practices that encourage diverse, healthy farm ecosystems while producing and marketing produce close to town are Neighborhood harvest’s top priorities. Our backyard gardens in the Columbia and Broadway Park neighborhoods have a propagation house, perennial herbs, and annual vegetable beds while the bulk of our mixed vegetables are grown on one acre on Rural Avenue. We deliver our CSA boxes to three convenient neighborhood locations and stock two self-serve farm stands located on Henry Street and Rural Avenue. Visit our website for details.

Learn to reduce or eliminate cravings with the Emotional Freedom Technique at Butterfly LIFE Women’s Fitness upcoming Guest Lecture

Butterfly LIFE Sunnyland Free Guest Lecture

CRAVINGS! …Make Them Go Away
Thursday, March 24th at 6:00pm

Reduce or remove unhealthy cravings in a matter of minutes! Come join us as Hilde Meadow introduces and demonstrates Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – a powerful form of psychological acupuncture that utilizes the fingertips instead of needles to stimulate acupressure points.  EFT has been known to help with a wide variety of issues, from phobias to weight issues, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder! Attendees are invited to bring any hard-to-resist food or beverage & learn more about this intriguing self-help tool!
Hilde Meadow worked as an RN in Seattle and practiced homeopathy while living in England.  She has been practicing EFT with clients here in Bellingham for the past 6 years and is certified by the founder of EFT, Gary Craig.

The lecture is free and non-members are welcome. For more information call 360-671-0669, or visit the website at ww.ButterflyLifeBellingham.com

QiGong for Health & Longevity at Whatcom Community College

QiGong (or Chi Kung) is a gentle yet powerful set of meditations and exercises that focuses on building physical health and inner tranquility. Harmonize body, breath, and mind as you learn stillness within movement and movement in stillness. Reduce stress, get a workout, build energy, and develop self-awareness.

Art Baner has an extensive background in Chinese martial arts, yoga, exercise therapy, and meditation practice. Course is suitable for people of all ages and levels of physical conditioning. The course is five sessions; there’s also an option to bundle with five sessions of Tai Chi. Classes start April 12, with QiGong at 6:30pm and Tai Chi at 7:30. A second section begins May 17. Register here.

Dr. Cherrelyn Seegers , D.C. to give talk at Butterfly LIFE Sunnyland

Eating for Healing with Dr. Cherrelyn Seegers , D.C.
Thursday, February 24 at 6:00pm
Butterfly LIFE Sunnyland (Next to Trader Joe’s)
2460 James St.
Bellingham, WA, 98225

Did you know that inflammation can make it hard to lose weight and harder to heal from injuries? Learn how to identify what your problem foods might be and how to deal with it.

Dr. Cherrelyn Seegers has had a practice in Bellingham for the past 13 years and her passion is working with all kinds of athletes. Dr. Seegers utilizes a variety of techniques to achieve complete restoration of movement. Patients are always instructed that stretching and strengthening exercises are necessary to their care and that core strengthening and nutrition are needed to keep bodies in top performance shape.

Call Butterfly LIFE at 671-0669 to reserve a seat.  For more information about this and other upcoming health-related events visit www.ButterflyLifeBellingham.com

Physical Therapist to Talk about Resuming Exercise After Injury, Feb. 1 2011

When It Hurts Too Much To Exercise, With Karen Nellessen, PT
Tuesday, February 1st at 6:30pm
Butterfly LIFE Sunnyland (Next to Trader Joe’s)
2460 James St.
Bellingham, WA, 98225

Concerned about coming back to exercise after an absence due to an injury? Come join us as Karen Nellessen, PT discusses some basic principles of returning to activity after an injury, numberswiki.com

guidelines for knowing when/how to progress activity, and when to rest/recover from flare-ups. Karen Nellessen is a physical therapist at Healthy Focus Physical Therapy who specializes in orthopedics. She focuses on treating a wide range of musculoskeletal dysfunctions and has a special interest in returning patients to exercise after trauma, microtrauma or surgery.

A Walk in the Woods

woman walking between treesHere’s an interesting story from the UK: GPs Urged to Prescribe Wales Forest Walk Remedy.

In a nutshell, the Welsh forestry commission is promoting the health benefits of walking in the woods instead of in town or on treadmills. We all know walking is good for you, but does it matter where you walk? According to commission spokesman Richard Davies, it does.

Davies said, “Studies have shown that looking at greenery causes a rapid reduction in stress – blood pressure, muscle tension pulse rate – usually within minutes of exposure, and is most obvious when the body is already stressed.”

We’ve got plenty of greenery all year ’round here in the northwest. All the rain makes things grow. But on a wet winter day, I might just stick a houseplant in front of the treadmill and call it good.

Levine, Hollie MSW ND

I’ve been a Naturopathic doctor since 1996 and have developed an interest in treating people with chronic, hard-to-diagnose, hard-to-treat, illnesses. From my perspective the healing process involves science, intuition, understanding the mind-body connection, and a deep respect for each person’s life journey. The tools I use include NAET, acupuncture, counseling, herbal medicines, and energetic medicines such as flower essences and homeopathy.

Hollie Levine, MSW, NP
Bellingham, WA

Conditions treated: chronic illnesses; prevention of cancer recurrence; any illnesses or symptoms relating to hormones, digestion, immunity/auto-immune, weight, environmental exposures/allergies, fatigue/insomnia, aches and pains, emotional issues (anxiety, depression, self-esteem)

Education: BA, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario; MSW, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario; ND, Bastyr University, Seattle, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, Bastyr and Intl. College of TCM, Vancouver, BC

Insurance and payment options: Regence; HMA; Premera; Lifewise; Aetna; First Choice; Uniform; Cigna; and many smaller plans as well. Please note, I believe that everyone should have access to healthcare of their choosing. If you do not have coverage and have financial limitations, call and we can work something out.

Office hours: Monday to Thursday 10-6

Vegan Experiment a Success, Mostly

Okay, so I’m not really vegan — I wear leather and have no problem preparing meat for family members — but I eat like one.

This May, I found I couldn’t exercise because of plantar fasciitis in both feet, and I needed some kind of head game to keep me focused on my diet so I didn’t gain back the weight I’ve lost in the past couple of years. I decided I would give up meat and dairy, using the book Engine 2 Diet as a guide. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. Certainly it’s a hell of a lot easier than my excursions into low carb eating.

The weight control aspect was a resounding win. I’ve lost another nine pounds since going veg. I got a checkup in August. Here are the results of my most recent bloodwork, as compared to 2008:

Blood pressure – 110/62, no change
Blood sugar – 83, down 14 points
Total cholesterol – 166, down 22 points
Triglycerides – 98, up 46 points – yikes!
Good cholesterol – 60, down 10 points
Bad cholesterol – 86, down 29 points

Pretty good overall. My bad cholesterol was a little high at 115, so it’s good to see that number shrink. However, my triglycerides almost doubled, although they are still in the happy zone (20-149). I suspect it may have to do with the margaritas I had the night before the testing, as this measurement is supposed to be very sensitive to alcohol.

Bottom line is that I’m going to continue eating this way. Mostly because I lost weight like *BAM*! But also because meat and dairy processing is nasty, and plant based diets are obviously more earth-friendly.

Here are some great resources for recipes. If you know of more, please post them in the comments!

Fat Free Vegan
Veggie Venture
The Low Fat Vegetarian Archive


Fairhaven Wednesday market opens June 2

It doesn’t look much like summer right now, but sunny days must be on the way because the Fairhaven outpost of the Bellingham Farmers Market opens tomorrow. The Wednesday Market is a friendly, low-key market held noon -5pm every Wednesday (duh!) from June through September in the Fairhaven Village Green behind Village Books.

In past visits I haven’t seen any food vendors, buskers or crafts here — just yummy local fruit and veggies.

5k-10k Bellingham Volkssport walk, April 24 2010

Take a self-paced stroll through Bellingham’s south side with the Tulip Trekkers, Mt. Vernon’s Volkssport (people’s sport) club. The Fairhaven-Edgemoor Friendship Walk starts at Fairhaven Runners at 10am, where you can register and pick up a route map starting at 9:30am.

Volkssport — “people’s sport” — walking events are organized by local clubs as a fun, noncompetitive organized activity for all ages and abilities. Learn more about volkssporting at the Tulip Trekkers website.

Pick up the Pace! Aerobic Walking talk at Fairhaven Runners, 4/15/2010

From Fairhaven Runners:

Hear from a former nationally classed race walker about how to make aerobic walking part of your life. Cindy Paffumi will talk about benefits and provide tips. She will also preview her spring training program for walkers and discuss the Fairhaven Walking Club’s weekly Saturday morning walks. Cindy has been the store’s walking coach for four years, and athletes enjoy her expert guidance and positive spirit.

When: Thursday, April 15, 7:15 – 8:15 PM

Where: Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St., Bellingham

Bellingham Farmer’s Market opens 2010 season April 3

bellingham farmer's market fall 2009
Shoppers ponder the plethora of pumpkins at the downtown Bellingham Farmer's Market last October.

The kids are on spring break, the forsythia is blooming, and Mayor Dan Pike is loosening up his throwing arm for the ceremonial cabbage toss that opens every season of Bellingham’s downtown farmer’s market. The downtown market runs every Saturday from 10am to 3pm through Christmas.

The summertime Fairhaven market will join in on Wednesdays June-September.

When: Saturday April 3, 10am-3pm
Where: Depot Market Square, Railroad and Chestnut

Stroller Strides at Fairhaven Runners

New and not-so-new parents will want to catch this  talk on turning your little one’s stroll into a workout. It’s this Thursday, March 25, 7:15 pm, at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. in Bellingham. From their website:

Turn Your Stroller Into a Total Body Workout – Natalie Gustafson, MS, LMFT
Thursday, March 25, 7:15 – 8:15 PM

Many new parents find it difficult to maintain their fitness level after having children. Stroller Strides Certified Instructor and mother of two, Natalie, will teach you how to incorporate strength, cardio and flexibility exercises into your typical stroller outing. Also, hear about the benefits, barriers and issues regarding postpartum exercise. This introductory clinic is for parents, so no need to bring your stroller or little one to the forum.”

New research at the University of York shows babies are born to dance

Researchers have discovered that infants respond to the rhythm and tempo of music and find it more engaging than speech.

The findings, based on the study of infants aged between five months and two years old, suggest that babies may be born with a predisposition to move rhythmically in response to music.

The research was conducted by Dr Marcel Zentner, from the University of York’s Department of Psychology, and Dr Tuomas Eerola, from the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Music Research at the University of Jyvaskyla.

Dr Zentner said: “Our research suggests that it is the beat rather than other features of the music, such as the melody, that produces the response in infants.

“We also found that the better the children were able to synchronize their movements with the music the more they smiled.

“It remains to be understood why humans have developed this particular predisposition. One possibility is that it was a target of natural selection for music or that it has evolved for some other function that just happens to be relevant for music processing.”

Infants listened to a variety of audio stimuli including classical music, rhythmic beats and speech. Their spontaneous movements were recorded by video and 3D motion-capture technology and compared across the different stimuli.

Professional ballet dancers were also used to analyse the extent to which the babies matched their movement to the music.

The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Online Early Edition. The research was part-funded by a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Vegetarianism 101 at St. Joseph's, 1/25/10

St. Joseph’s Lifequest community education program presents a class on transitioning to a healthy vegetarian diet.

Vegetarian Eating Basics, 6-8 pm, 1/25/10

Do you find yourself making more vegetarian eating choices? Vegetarians are at lower risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and gallstones. This class will introduce you to the meatless way of eating, including more convincing reasons to choose it and recipes to help you apply it!

The class will be held at the Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Parkway. Click here for registration info.

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