Community News
When “NO” Means YES!

December can be one of the most stressful months of the year, for many people. Whether you are a student with pending exams; a homemaker facing all the tasks of preparing for the holiday season; the financially responsible adult, trying to make ends meet and have enough left over for Christmas gifts; the person who fears blowing their diet with holiday goodies; or the flying phobic who wants a holiday but is terrified of getting on a plane, stress is a common factor. And for many, it can be one of the loneliest times of the year. One of the best stress-reduction, self-care strategies I know for this time of year, is the ability to say “NO!”


Saying “NO” can be very challenging for many people; especially those who have difficulty setting boundaries for themselves or around others. Are you one of those people? Are you the person who has always cooked the Christmas meal each year, and are desperate for someone to take it over, but feel guilty asking? Are you caught up with inner “shoulds” about what MUST be done to make the holidays “perfect,” but exhausted or financially stressed as a result? Are you the person who knows that the temptations of holiday goodies, drugs or alcohol will damage your health but cannot say “NO” and then suffer the consequences? Are you a spouse who has dutifully gone each year to visit in-laws for the holidays, when you would really just love time alone with your hunny, or a even a separate holiday? Are you a student who needs to brush up for exams but have difficulty saying “NO” to friends or family who want to lure you with other distractions? Finally, are you a person who finds yourself sinking into a yearly depression at Christmas time?


For many people, saying “NO”, brings up fears: fear of looking selfish; fear of being rejected or unloved if they show vulnerability or declare their needs and feelings; fear of other’s negative judgements of you don’t feel you measure up to expectations; fear of losing out or being deprived of pleasure, to meet a more important goal. All of these kinds of fears tend to show up when a person’s NO to another or themselves , is really a YES! for their authentic Self.


YES! – Saying NO when it honours your own needs and feelings is really a YES for your authentic self. If we truly want to honour our self and others, it is essential that our actions are congruent with who we really are. This means we must give them the gift of revealing our true self as well as hearing theirs. Sometimes our fears are related to childhood events, where we had a negative experience related to expressing oour feelings or needs. These events can then contribute to core beliefs about our own worthiness or lovability. For example: “I am only loveable if I put everyone else first; I have to be the responsible one to be worthwhile; people will think I am selfish if I ask for what I want.” But usually these beliefs are erroneous, or they are based on our point of view as a young, vulnerable, dependent child; not as a capable adult.


What about people who feel depressed or lonely over the holiday season? In this town, with many singles and people whose families live far away, the situation is common; but it does not need to be a time of misery. However, it may require saying “NO” to being a victim of one’s situation, and taking action to connect with others and seek support. Inviting other single friends for an “orphan’s dinner, volunteering at the numerous Community events, asking a family to “adopt” you for the holidays, or treating yourself to some extra special pleasures that can pull you into a YES state of enjoyment, can all be effecting in dispelling the holiday blues. If it seems just too overwhelming, then honour your needs, say YES to yourself, and seek professional help.


As a user and practitioner of the fabulous self-care tool called Emotional Freedom Techniques (also known as EFT or Tapping) I have found that time and again, it can assist people in expressing a healthy “NO” when it is in their best interest. And, it can be helpful for releasing unhealthy NO’s related to depression, or anxieties, which stop people from living with ease. Individuals with fears or phobias such as: flying; heights; elevators; small furry critters, insects, crowds, public speaking, exams, or interviews (to name just a few) can limit their true nature and block self-fulfillment because their unconscious mind says “NO WAY! ”when they really would like to say YES!


The simple and easy to learn EFT Tapping process can help people of any age, to work on present day or past issues that block them from speaking their truth, asking for help, widening their horizons and living with more ALIVENESS! Check it out at my website, where you will find free EFT Tapping instructions, so you can try it for yourself or email me to arrange a for a Free 15 minute phone Consultation and/or a private counselling session. This may be the best gift you ever gave yourself!


Wishing You an Authentically Happy Holiday Season

Karen Ledger, RN BScN., Health Education and Counselling

On Addiction – What Is it, and What to Do

I am realizing that I have an addiction to distracting myself – mainly via Facebook in recent times. In the excellent talk by Dr. Gabor Maté that I have provided a link to, below, he asks, and answers, the question What Is Addiction? He says that all addictions are simply ways/attempts to relieve ourselves of pain/distress.

I have watched Part 1 of this video a couple of times before. It is only a little over 3 minutes long, and it is an excellent overview of his message. I would, however, strongly encourage you to watch Part 2, also, as I just did. It is over 18 minutes long and is a TedX talk he gave in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It truly is one of the best TedTalks I have ever seen. And given how many excellent TedTalks I have seen, that is really saying something.

So, back to me and my own addiction. The truth is, I don’t know the exact origin of my own personal pain. There were challenges and traumas in my growing up years, to be sure. But in comparison with many people I have met over the course of my life – not all of of them patients, but also friends, family members, colleagues, and acquaintances – what I remember of my past seems trying, but not extreme. What I cannot argue with, however, is the clear evidence that trauma has occurred, and that there is a marked impulse to distract from the pain of it.

Now in both parts of the talk by Maté, he speaks directly of, and quotes others also advocating for, the need to simply be with the Pain. All addiction is essentially trying to run from the suffering, and the “surest way to Hell is to try to run from it” is the gist of one those quotes.

How does one be with the Pain? How can I do that? Well a couple of things are crucial. The first, is what I am doing here, now: admitting it is a problem. Secondly, anyone who has identified their addiction will need compassion and support (from themselves, and others) to choose, over and over again, to be with that Pain. Unfortunately it helps not at all for others to point out that (I’m) “You’re doing it again”. That just ends up being perceived as shaming and blaming – whether that is what was intended, or not. Recognizing instead that there is some sort of pain that I am trying to evade, and having compassion for that process, feels very supportive.

So, this writing is a reminder to myself to let my own pain be registered; to let it land. For me, that means taking breaks from online time, so that there is the space to let my mind rest. Only then can I be with my own pain. Today I spent all afternoon in the garden, raking leaves and cleaning up. That worked well for me.

I am also reminding myself here, that as a practitioner, and simply as a fellow human Being, I can be compassionate with the addictive attempts by others to deaden or distract from their pain. Now of course it is easy to become an enabler of the addictions of others. But unwavering Love and Compassion can be firm and holding, while not collapsing.

There is, of course, so much more that can be said on this subject. This much is what I needed to share here and now.

Howard V. Dieno DO (UK)

British-trained Osteopathic Practitioner

Member of BOA,

ADHD – Treating the Cause

Looking for a place to grow your money? Consider investing in ADHD meds! Now that I have your attention, sales of stimulants to treat ADHD in the US alone have more than doubled to $9 billion in 2012 from $4 billion in 2007. About 70% of these youngsters are given stimulant medications such as Ritalin, Adderal, Concerta and Vyvanse.

Attention deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD), the most common behavioral disorder in children, is being diagnosed in epidemic proportions. Figures released by the Centres of Disease Control in the United States show that approximately 11% of children 4-17 years of age or 6.4 million, have been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011, the most recent year for which statistics are available [2].

Boys are twice more likely to be labeled than girls, with the highest percentage found in high school boys. Testosterone anyone?

Questions of over-diagnosis versus actually increasing rates aside, ADHD can be a serious challenge for some children and their families, leaving academic performance and self-esteem in tatters or creating rip-tides of conflict with family members and peers. I’d like to share a case from my practice which illustrates what a difference a homeopathic remedy and a bit of nutritional support can make in a child’s life.

In a Fog

I first met Leo, a thoughtful looking 9-year-old boy, in June of 2012. The family and school were concerned about his lack of attention, dysgraphia and slow reading and writing skills. He was diagnosed with ADHD of the inattentive type as well as very superior intelligence.

During the consultation he trailed off trying to answer my questions and often looked into space. The mother and teachers had also noted that he was spacey

History revealed that when Leo was about nine months old he fell off a change table by accident – on his head. He was rushed to the ER, assessed and released as fine.

By the time he was four or five years old his parents noticed that he had trouble with multi-step directions and difficulty with staying focused. He feels very sleepy on waking and used to be hard to get up, as if in a fog, even though he had lots of sleep.

In my mind the head injury stood out. This was a very bright boy with a very bright and high-functioning family, which in my experience is not the norm in most children with ADHD.

We also did a hair analysis which showed some mineral deficiencies. Leo received a trace mineral complex, tissue salts, vitamin B12 and ascorbyl palmitate. Then I gave Helleborus 30CH, twice a week, for the history of head injury and his overall foggy state.

ADHD from a Head Injury?

At a follow-up in October 2012 the mother reported: “There is such a difference, he is more awake, more with it! Even his writing has improved. The teachers have also noticed the change and now he can do his homework on his own. And he is brimming over with love for me. He is much more expressive emotionally!”

Even his soccer playing was different: “He has the same coach as last year and he commented on how much better his playing is. He is so much more engaged.”

We continued the supplements and the Helleborus 30CH twice a week.

Follow-up November 2012: “He is doing so much better. Now he enjoys reading, before it was just painful to him. And he is so much happier and more loving. Before he was a bit catatonic really, as if in a fog.”

Plan: Helleborus 200CH, 2 pellets every two weeks for two months.

At a follow-up in February of 2013: “Leo is a totally different child! Now he loves to spell words. His handwriting is easy and legible now, before he had lots of trouble. He is devouring books and way less spacey. He has become a superstar in sports. He is taking piano lessons and the teacher is saying that he is just absorbing the music. He is all organized now and dresses himself in the morning, before we had to nag him 5-6 times to get dressed. He is still much more connected to me and much more affectionate, with beautiful eye contact.”

I did not hear from the family again until August of 2013 when I contacted them for an update. The mother wrote: “Leo has lost his diagnosis, he was just reassessed and no longer has any ADHD. We are thrilled.”

This child not only lost his diagnosis but he also became much more alive and connected to his world, a beautiful development. In my opinion his ADHD was caused by the head injury he suffered when he was nine months old.

The homeopathic remedy I used in this case is made from the common hellebore, also known as Christmas Rose, a somewhat poisonous plant which blooms in the winter and is a common perennial seen in gardens in Victoria.

It has a colourful history in medicine and was used as a tonic for philosophers, to be consumed as a tea before engaging in intense and prolonged philosophical debate.

Chronic poisoning causes fluid retention in the brain and spinal cord with feelings of stupefaction, sluggishness and imbecility.

A good description of Leo’s state before treatment.

In homeopathy the idea is that like can cure like, so this remedy can be useful when someone already has these kinds of symptoms, possibly as a result of brain injury, meningitis or similar.

Now there are several other remedies for problems after head injuries, so please don’t run out and pick the hellebores in your neighbour’s garden just yet and remember that we are talking about a homeopathic preparation of the plant, not a crude form.

There are many other causes of ADHD. If you know a child with ADHD, there is hope. Call my office to make an appointment and we will try and find and treat the causes together.

Dr. Anke Zimmermann, BSc, ND, FCAH

Learn to Let Go of Lather

All those whipped creamy soft foams, shave creams and brand name shampoos we have been using all our lives, contain some of the harshest chemicals around; the sodium lauryl sulphates and laureth sulphates and betaines. Bottom line? They are detergents. They aren’t good for us. They strip the natural oil mantle from our hair and skin. They run down our drains and enter streams and rivers, dissolving the protective lipid layer of tiny plants, fish and animal life. They enter our pores and lungs, contributing to toxic overload, neurological malfunction and other nasty things.

Shampoos are a huge problem. The hair industry is based on the routine of stripping the natural oils from the hair shaft and then synthetically putting it back with silicones, acrylics, chemicals and cationic surfactants (carcinogenic, environmentally disastrous substances.)

Before scientists discovered detergents in the 1920’s, people used soap. The first soap was discovered when people poured the ashes from their fire into a stream with animal fats. The two combined to create a slippery bubbly concoction known as soap. Natural soaps made with a high proportion of emollient oils (like castille soap) are gentle cleansers, and biodegradable. The problem is that they can break down and leave scum on clothes, skin and hair. (In the olden days people knew that the acidic water in their rain barrels worked best with soap).

So what is out there for natural personal cleansers besides soap? The plant world offers saponins in plants like Soapwort, Yucca, Quillaria and Soapberries. Shikakai powder (Acacia) from India is a terrific hair cleanser, detangler and conditioner. These plant soaps were originally used as foamers in beer and also in toothpastes; soapy herbs that have been used for centuries to wash clothes and hair. If you have tried them, you’ll find that they are not nearly as luxurious as the fantasy foamers we’ve come to know and love, and a lot messier, but they are healthier and overtime you will see dry over-stripped hair and skin restored.

The chemical industry is responding to the demand for milder, plant-derived surfactants. Even though they are still technically classified as detergent, there are now soapy olive and coconut derivatives with names that include: glucosides, olivates, esters and glutamates. These are milder, plant-derived detergents. Suppliers claim they are biodegradable. They have a nice “soapiness”, but not the rich lather. They don’t strip the skin or the hair and are very gentle and even baby safe. Look for names like poly alkylglucoside, cocoglucoside and decylglucoside. And with the explosion of “green chemistry”, there will be more coming.

Whether you choose to go with good old-fashioned soap, saponin- containing plants, or with the new milder detergents, the conclusion I’ve arrived at is: We have to learn to let go of lather.

Karen Van Dyck, Organic Skin Creamery

Book Club: Review of ‘Super Grains’ 

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is difficult in the face of modern pressures and the many available conveniences that make it easy to rely on highly processed instant foods.  Thankfully, Jenni Muir has written a book full of pragmatic advice for busy people, using dry Australian humour to present healthy, tantalizing recipes incorporating whole grains into a contemporary diet.  Muir’s focus is on easy to achieve steps in the path to whole foods health.  The book includes helpful hints, a multitude of recipe variations that will suit even the pickiest eater, and a profoundly useful table that describes the cooking time, texture, and yield of each grain.

Jenni Muir

Learn Emotional Freedom Technique ~  A Self-Care Tool That Can Change Your LIFE! 

Learn Emotional Freedom Technique ~ EFT

A Self-Care Tool That Can Change Your LIFE! 

EFT or “Tapping” is simple but powerful method to help deal with a wide range of emotional and physical issues incuding:  pain; anxiety; depression; phobias; past traumas or fears. You can also use it to help others. 

Join us for this small-group, Introductory, Professional Level 1+  Workshop. 2 Tuesdays ~ November 17th and 24th ~ 4 – 9:30pm. in Fairfield.  Workshop Fee: $245. Early Bird: $220 if paid by November 8th. $210 per person for full time students or 2 or more family or workmates attending together.

Click for Full Poster

Email for info:  250 598-4126



Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement Workshops: Unhabit Your Body Series

 Roxanne Derkson, Registered Massage Therapist & Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner

Cost: $75.00 per person (pre-registration mandatory)

Thoracic Connections
Saturday, November 7th, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Your Pelvis As Core Foundation
Saturday, November 28th, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Details & Registration: or email




Learn Emotional Freedom Technique ~  A Self-Care Technique That Can Change Your LIFE!

Introductory, Professional Level 1+  Workshop  with Karen Ledger, RN BscN – 20 years of practicing and teaching EFT.
2 Tuesdays ~ November 17th and 24th, 4:00 – 9:30 pm in Victoria, B.C.

This intimate, small-group workshop is open to all, but taught at a professional level. Through a total of 11 hours of brief lectures, practical experiences, live and video demonstrations and group discussion, you will learn how to use EFT for yourself and others.
Workshop Fee: $245.00
Early Bird Rate: $220.00 if paid in full before November 4th. $210.00 pp for full time students or 2 or more family or workmates attending at the same time. Limited space. Email to reserve or with any questions.

Karen Ledger RN. BScN
Health Education & Counselling

Click for more info:  Victoria EFT Workshop Nov. 2015

Book Club: Blisters and Bliss

Here on the West Coast we have many options to cater to our health and wellness outdoors, and on Vancouver Island we have one of the most incredible hikes around: the West Coast Trail. David Foster and Wayne Aitken are just as in love with the Trail and in their book, Blisters and Bliss, they gather tips and tricks on how to experience the healing beauty of the West Coast while preventing injuries.

Natural Health Spotlight

As women living longer, healthier lives, our faces often tell our life story before we are ready. However much we may want to turn back the hands of time, many of us want an alternative to painful, invasive procedures, possible scarring and injecting foreign substances into our skin. Fortunately, there in an effective non-surgical option that is not just pain free, but a soothing treatment that helps you feel so relaxed that you may just drift into sleep. Introducing Finer Face®, which uses advanced microcurrent technology. The current conducts a subtle vibration to the outer layer of the skin that stimulates and activates the fine muscles of the face. Like a “workout” for the face, an on-going series of Finer Face® treatments will tone and lift the muscles – reducing fine lines and giving you a more youthful look.

Jen McCarthy

Carbon Neutral Landscaping

Traditional landscapers in Canada use gasoline-powered lawn mowers, trimmers and blowers, contributing to a whopping 5% of Canada’s annual air pollution! Until now, no one in Canada has addressed these concerns until Clean Air Yard Care was developed as Canada’s first Zero Emission Yard Care service, all powered from renewable energy. We use the sun’s energy to convert to electricity on our specially designed trailers, to power all of our battery and electric lawn and yard care tools. Using all of this innovative equipment means that we don’t require any external power source, don’t produce any harmful emissions, our equipment is quieter and we don’t spill any gasoline or oil. In fact at Clean Air Yard Care we are so earth friendly; we offset any emissions we create each year and are now also proud to become Canada’s first carbon neutral landscaper.

Richard Larkin

Home Wellness

Seeking health and wellness often takes us OUT of the house … to the Health Food Store, a Naturopath or Massage Therapist and so on. But how many of us take the time to look inside our HOMES to make sure we are addressing the basics of health? The air and water can be very toxic. We battle chemicals and electromagnetic fields that hamper our sleep and wellbeing.   A Wellness Home embodies natural light, clean air, rejuvenating sleep, and clean and healthy water.  And this is just the start. I invite you to also examine how your home feels. Is it easy and functional to live in or is it cluttered and busy?  Do you find it hard to keep it organized? Does it allow you space to move and grow? Do you LOVE everything in your home?   Is it beautiful to you or do you just make do?Awareness is the beginning.

ChaCha Chapin