Written to educate, inform and inspire those seeking more holistic and eco-friendly ways of staying healthy, wealthy and wise!

Young woman looks at a smartphoneHave you considered all the ways that the world has changed since March of 2020 and some of the good that has resulted from those early, crazy days?

Now, on the other side, it is easier to see the benefits of change. More is available from the comfort of home -- No parking hassles! No traffic! The ability to meet with people from all over the world!

Even better, one of the changes to come out of these past few years is that MORE people are looking for holistic approaches to health and wellness, MORE people are open and looking for members like you, who offer products and services for overall wellness and with no negative side effects.

The four (4) types of requests we receive: 

When you are ready to start actively exploring and experiencing holistic health and wellness, you will want someone to help you find the best therapy for your needs; especially if you are currently under the care of a medical doctor for a specific health condition or chronic illness. Holistic health care, generally speaking, falls into two (2) primary areas, psychological or physical complementary health approaches. Often referred to as mind and body practices (or mind-body medicine), these can include a wide range of specialties
When choosing who to work with -  whether you are seeking an Acupuncturist or a Yoga Instructor or anything in between -  for your particular needs, it is important to:

What does the IRS say?

Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) medical expenses to be paid or reimbursed under a Health Savings Account (HSA), Health Flexible Spending Arrangement (FSA), Archer Medical Savings Account (Archer MSA), or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HAS). The Code generally allows a deduction for expenses paid during the taxable year for medical care if certain requirements are met. Expenses for medical care under section 213 of the Code also are eligible to be paid or reimbursed under an HSA, FSA, Archer MSA, or HRA. However, if any amount is paid or reimbursed under an HSA, FSA, Archer MSA, or HRA, a taxpayer cannot also deduct the amount as a medical expense on the taxpayer's federal income tax return.

*The original version of this recipe is from my oh-so-charming ex. Some of his notes are included for your entertainment (and mine).
Important notes:
  1. For me, this is a full week’s worth of breakfasts. Make it once and you’ll have happy, healthy breakfasts all week long!
  2. This is NOT a set-it-and-forget-it recipe. If you don’t want your oatmeal to stick to the bottom of the pan, keep stirring.
You will need:
  • Organic fresh or frozen blueberries (1-2 cups, drained & rinsed)
  • Organic fresh Granny Smith apple(s) (1-2 cups, cubed). Really, why bother with any other type of apple?
  • Lots of ground cinnamon (about 1-2 TABLEspoons). This is NOT a typo.
  • Add later: Organic fresh strawberries (sliced) + banana (sliced)
Integrative health involves bringing conventional and complementary health approaches together in a coordinated way. For example, cancer treatment centers with integrative health care programs may offer services such as acupuncture and meditation to help manage symptoms and side effects for patients who are receiving conventional cancer treatment. 
An integrative approach also emphasizes treating the whole person rather than, for example, focusing on a single organ system. Integrative health aims for well-coordinated care among different providers and institutions. 
From the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) > Click here to read the fact sheet 
Looking for complementary and integrative health products or services? Find options at https://holisticchamberofcommerce.com/directory 
Answers to questions you might have about Acupuncture, from cost to training to efficacy.
Even if you’ve been curious for a while, actually making the move to visit an acupuncturist for
the first time can take some courage. If you are unfamiliar with acupuncture, the time and
financial commitment to experiment with such a different approach from what you are used to
can be daunting. Here are points to consider as you make your decision. 
Massage therapy is a physical touch technique that involves manipulating the soft tissues of the body. Massage therapy is often used to help manage a health condition, reduce stress or enhance wellness. Massage has been practiced in most cultures, both Eastern and Western, throughout human history, and was one of the earliest tools that people used to try to relieve pain. 

It can aid blood flow and circulation and help aging adults dealing with a variety of conditions.
We hear a lot about natural remedies these days, though sources legit and not-so-much. At the Holistic Chamber of Commerce, we always appreciate finding research that highlights the efficacy of holistic, complementary and integrative approaches to medicine.
Let’s face it, headaches are a drag when you have one. For those who experience migraines, it’s worse.
While there is still research to be done on integrative healing therapies and products for headaches and migraines, preliminary results show these to help…
There is an overwhelming amount of research showing that stress is a major factor contributing to chronic disease these days.
The antidote to stress is relaxation, in most cases. 
Techniques to help your body and mind relax can shift you out of the stress response. To relax physically and emotionally (mentally), you may explore techniques including...
Traditional Chinese medicine has evolved over thousands of years. Professional practitioners use herbal products and a variety of psychological and physical approaches, which may include acupuncture, tai chi, cupping, gua sha, and other techniques.
Research on acupuncture and tai chi have shown that both approaches are helpful for some health-related conditions. In studies, tai chi seems to be a safe practice. Acupuncture, when performed correctly, has a good record of safety and efficacy.
The placebo effect is a positive health outcome resulting from a person’s anticipation that a particular technique or therapy will help.
There are different ways that a placebo effect may support your health and wellness goals…
This year, cancer hit too close to home... again.
Twenty years ago, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy and moved forward with no chemo or radiation. For her, it was a good move and she has been cancer-free ever since.
This year, according to the American Cancer Society, about 340,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed among US women, and more than 43,000 women will die from it. Two of my closest friends are among those who were diagnosed, and it's Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Some people assume that complementary, integrative therapies are not covered by insurance... And I'm here to tell you that some insurance companies do cover these techniques.
Holistic health approaches include psychological and/or physical wellness specialties such as spinal manipulation (i.e. chiropractic), acupuncture, massage or counseling. Some insurance companies cover these, depending on the type of policy you have.
Here's how you find out whether a specific holistic health product or service is covered by your insurance.
A consumer called in the other day... As a Chamber of Commerce, this happens when people are looking for a particular type of wellness provider or someone who offers a specific product or service. With our "holistic" designation, we attract consumers looking for acupuncturists, chiropractors, hypnotherapists, nutrition and lifestyle coaches, craniosacral therapists, yoga instructors, reiki masters, meditation and mindfulness teachers, and a multitude of other specialties that are recognized as integrative, functional, complementary or alternative medicine.
In this case, she's in Virginia and was looking for a massage therapist specializing in lymphatic massage for her friend in Florida who has Breast Cancer. She wanted a referral to someone trustworthy and skilled that she could pass along.
Many people who practice yoga do so as a form of preventative health care. Research has shown potential advantages resulting from yoga for several elements of well-being, including: 
  • Reducing stress for individuals of all ages and genders
  • Increasing strength and flexibility for physical fitness
  • Improving mental health and emotional wellness
  • Encouraging nutritious food choices and healthy exercise routines 
  • Better balance
The most common forms of yoga are:
  • Ashtanga
  • Bikram
  • Hatha
  • Iyengar
  • Kundalini
  • Vinyasa 
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised about this diagnosis. It's one my mother received about 20 years ago when she was my age now. At the beginning of 2022, a lump was found and tested. Since then, I've had one surgery and am looking at one more.
And it has me circling back to the BIG vision of what can happen when we come together in one umbrella professional organization for the holistic marketplace.
Picture this... Imagine that when you, or anyone, walks into a hospital, they see essential oils...
Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
When I was working my 8-5, I got sick multiple times a year. I washed my hands frequently, exercised and considered myself pretty healthy overall. I remember wondering why some people in the office seemed to get sick and others didn’t. 
In the 4 years since leaving that profession, I have been sick only twice… 
The science is truly compelling when it comes to the correlation between mental and physical health. For me, it is clear that I feel better emotionally.
What are you waiting for? It is easy to come up with reasons to wait (or procrastinate). 
These three tips make it easy to take action and move forward, creating the results that lead to the rewards that you really want.
Before you start, what is the health goal that you have gotten stuck with? Is it your weight, exercise, or something more specific?

More and more consumers are curious about, and starting to explore, herbal (botanical) medicine.
The most basic way to start using herbs for your health is to drink teas with specific herbs for your health concerns.
Herbs, including spices, can also be used in foods and recipes that support overall health and wellness goals.
People are often asking me how health and money are related... They feel confused by how we’ve connected “holistic” to a chamber ofcommerce. This is such a long list that it’s easy to spiral down a rabbit hole. Still, the beginning is fairly simple.
The money in your bank account is a factor in many health-related decisions:
  1. where you shop for food;
  2. what you purchase; 
  3. whether you can get weekly massages (or acupuncture or chiropractic) or only once a quarter or only when you feel desperate for it; 
  4. whether your workout routine is in place because you have a trainer and time available for exercise; and so on and so forth. 
You have probably heard that selfcare is important. You may even tell your family and friends or clients/customers/patients how important it is. The question is, how often do you choose to take care of yourself?
Why is selfcare such a big deal? First and foremost, because it provides the energy to do what you do! Whether it is caring for family or clients, you are at the core of your relationships and taking care of yourself allows you to help those that you care about. When you are sick or “less than,” how can you help others? 
In addition, stress is widely documented as a major contributor to chronic pain and diseases including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and more. Likewise, selfcare techniques have been shown to reduce stress and protect you for a long and healthy life.
Trigger Warning // Sexual Violence, Suicide, Racial Discrimination, and Gun Violence
At the Holistic Chamber of Commerce, we have created a bridge that goes from past trauma to future well-being and wellness.
Deeper personal and societal issues call for solutions that go below the surface and address the root causes.
Addressing the underlying causes of mental and emotional health concerns, to reduce anxiety and create a higher level of well-being for you and your clients/patients, is the true value of holistic healing professionals. Even when you can’t find words to express your deepest pain, there are specialists who can help reach through your internal filters to help heal where needed.
Preventative care, especially in terms of chronic disease, can help us before we ever need it. Physical health and wellness is what enables us to do what we want, whether it’s take time off from work to enjoy friends and family or work harder to get more done. It’s a year-round concern, not just a disease-of-the-month awareness campaign.  

As an example, statistics show that 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer, a diagnosis that can disrupt everything from family to work, whether you work for someone else or for yourself. It is expensive in every way - physically, financially and emotionally. These high numbers should get our attention! 

Do you know anyone who has had breast cancer? Your sister, mother, daughter, aunt or a good friend perhaps?
It is important to remember to take care of ourselves at this time of year… If self-care slides and we get sick, it’s no good for anyone, impacting everything from running errands to holiday gatherings.
Even on Zoom, no one wants to see you sick in bed!
There are many easy and affordable ways to stay healthy no matter how busy you are:
As I write this, Thanksgiving in the U.S. is coming up soon and the December gifting holidays are right after that.
This is such a lovely positioning of holidays as it takes us from thinking about who we are thankful for right into gifting them with something special. My only challenge is that I am thankful for far more people than I can give gifts to! So I’m always on the lookout for ways to give and gift throughout the year. Still, there are some that I cant to send gifts to in December.
EMFs are electromagnetic frequencies in the air. Everything that uses electricity gives off EMFs, and they are getting stronger, particularly with 5G. We live in a sea of EMFs, Smart Meters, Cell towers, Cell phones, Satellites, Laptops, Microwaves all pulsing EMFs constantly through our body.  So, what does that mean for your health?
Our body is made up of billions of electrically charged cells and tissues which can be measured as an electric voltage. Our organs like our heart, brain and nervous system are electrical. When a heart dies we “charge” it with an electric defibrillator, we measure our brain activity with an EEG (electroencephalogram) and to measure nervous system function in our extremities we measure electrical nerve conduction. 
What filters are you looking through? What perspectives are influencing you? Are you making decisions based on a past that no longer applies?
Whether you are looking at health- or business-related decisions, your perspective can make a world of difference.
The most common filters are those of past, present and future.
PAST: It can be easy to make default decisions based on your past. Either you keep repeating yourself or you take the opposite approach, always changing strategies because it didn’t work before and you don’t want a repeat. In general, if you want new results, it is best to do something new. Still, there are times when you are in such a different position now that it is worth trying again. The previous time you may have been ahead of schedule. This time you are really ready.
It’s beginning to feel a lot like the holidays ~ Jack Frost is nipping at my toes!
Let’s face it… Holidays can be stressful. Fun, for sure, and stressful, too.
  1. Time gets crunched.
  2. Money gets tight.
  3. Emotional baggage often arrives along with your relatives coming to visit. Or they’re not coming and the angst associated with that is barely better than the alternative.
Advance planning helps!
Sure, you’ve heard it before… ‘One step at a time’ is a variation of the concept underlying “micro-decisions” and their ability to change your life.
What are some easy places to start?
  1. Drink a glass of water instead of a can of soda.
  2. Park further away so you can walk a few extra steps.
  3. Eat an apple (or orange or fresh fruit of any kind) instead of a bag of chips.
  4. Try a non-diary frozen treat (coconut milk, cashewmilk or oatmilk options are delicious) instead of ice cream.
  5. Sit still for 5 minutes. Turn on some soft music that relaxes you. 
  6. Surprise someone by saying “I love your smile!”
  7. Stand up. Sit down. Move!
Every time you make a micro-decision and take that micro-action, you make it easier to take the next one ❤
As is often the case, these healers-to-be experienced illnesses for which western medical care had few solutions, and so their healing journeys began in earnest.
They soon found an abundance of ancient remedies, both in nature and in cutting-edge technology using the eternal quantum laws of physics that went deep into the emotional heart of the dis-ease, rooting it out completely over time.
Because of that whole mind|body|spirit approach, they were cured, one might say, across many levels and dimensions. They then felt empowered to bring this work to others to fulfill their purpose. 
But one of these souls chose to hold the energy of anger against the “establishment,” railing against power and profit-driven protocols. This practitioner was clever and well-versed in all the ways the matrix holds onto its power. This warrior, of sorts, resisted these forces, which only served to prop up that which they railed against, actually giving it more life – “what you resist, persists.”
#IVEGOTANOILFORTHAT is quite literally my favorite hashtag. Why? Because in all the years I have been using Essential Oils, I keep finding new uses for high quality therapeutic oils. From supporting our Immune System, to helping process Emotions, to allowing a restful night’s sleep, and everything in between.
Let me start at the beginning. When I was introduced to essential oils, I thought they were just pretty smells. I was wrong! I didn’t know the powerful effects of oils until at the age of 55, when I lost my mother. At that sad time, a friend introduced me to Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils as tools for Emotional Release. Through topical application and diffusion, one of the most powerful uses of essential oils is for the brain (thoughts + emotions). 
By 10 weeks old, while we are still in the womb, our sense of smell is developed. As we age, smell is one of the senses that most quickly transports us back to early memories. Essential oils can easily tap into this powerful sense.

Our PartnershipThe Holistic Chamber of Commerce has been looking for a holistic-friendly solution for alleviating the costs of healthcare for many years. While, as yet, there’s no perfect solution, we’ve found an attractively-priced product that has the potential to significantly reduce total healthcare costs for those who use holistic services and elect to become members of one of these programs.

Paul Cholak, a long-standing member of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce, is a healthcare advisor to MPB.Health and a licensed agent. Working through Paul, we’re able to offer MPowering Benefits Health programs that combine medical cost sharing to mitigate and control the cost of large medical expenses with virtual care (an enhanced version of telehealth); prescription cost management; a QR life code and personal medical records vault; and personalized concierge services.

Different programs are available for individuals who are employees and want to purchase individual programs; and to employers who want to establish group plans, individual proprietors, and 1099 contractors.

Click Here for Details

If your health wasn’t important before, it’s a BIG deal now! Hospitals don’t want you. Everywhere you go, including the grocery store, is risky.
First, let’s consider the fact that hospitals are turning people away. They are overflowing AND don’t want the risk of having you get infected with something worse than what you already have. My mother went in for a heart procedure and was sent home the very next day (thankfully, she is healthy enough to recover quickly). I know of someone else who went in with a stroke and was turned away without being treated.
It is now your responsibility to stay healthy and avoid the current pandemic as well as any other health-related problems. What are you to do?
In other words, how do you stay healthy, even during these stressful times where we’ve all been handed a series of uncomfortable circumstances?
Painting by Karen SachsWe all experience stress and anxiety on occasion (some of us more than others), but there are situations in our life that can raise our stress levels, in such as a divorce, death of a loved one, challenges at work or a job loss, unexpected health diagnoses or simply doing too much and trying to be superhuman day in day out. Often, we might turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with our emotions, such as drinking, smoking, avoiding exercise, overworking or overeating unhealthy comfort foods or sugary treats.  During this global COVID-19 condition where our everyday lives are disrupted, we can also feel a sense of ongoing anxiety from the unknowingness of what the future holds for ourselves and our loved ones. While we can recognize lives aren’t always predictable, we can still take our health and wellness into our own hands and a few simple steps to manage our mindset to get through times of uncertainty, overwhelming stress and anxiety.
Theoretically, we all know that each person’s body has different health and wellness responses and preferences. At the same time, we often want to know what has worked for others in hopes that it will also work for us...
Essential oils are no different. What works for you may or may not work for me, and vice versa.
Just like penicillin works for some people while others are allergic to it.
Still, it helps to know what works for others. Often, that knowledge can help us find a solution that will work for you. Here is a short list of uses of essential oils that help relieve specific concerns.
In health and business, there is always a bridge from where we are to where we are going, whether that is where we are headed   given your current trajectory or where we want to be going when focused on our goals. Where is your bridge taking you?
The bridge from what I weigh today to what I want to weigh.
The bridge from having this health concern to physical fitness.
The bridge from doing everything on my own to hiring consultants and staff.
The bridge from 1 customer/client/patient to 10 to 100 to 1,000 to more.
The bridge from stress to everything you want…
The bridge from loneliness to love
The bridge to peace
The bridge to joy
Where is your bridge taking you?

Are negative thoughts weighing you down?

Specialists like Charles Lightwalker know that, at the office, stress can decrease productivity because worry wastes time better spent taking care of the task at hand.

Stress is also one of the key factors in many chronic conditions, including diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Some heart attacks have such a strong Mind-Body connection that there is a term for it: Broken Heart Syndrome.

It’s odd that I’m so in love with acupuncture as a healing and wellness technique… After all, I hate needles.

As a child, I had allergies and asthma and shots were part of my regular routine. Ugh!

Now, acupuncture is one of my favorite techniques for relieving stress, reducing pain and maintaining overall health.

The “needles” are more like fine filaments and a skilled acupuncturist can prepare you for your session with a minimum of discomfort.

Among the oldest healing practices in the world, acupuncture is one of several traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) techniques. Other specialties, such as herbs, qi gong and tai chi, are included under the umbrella of Traditional Chinese Medicine.