Alternative Medicine – Kindred Media Sharing the New Story of Childhood, Parenthood, and the Human Family Mon, 28 Sep 2020 19:37:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Alternative Medicine – Kindred Media 32 32 Step-by-Step: A COVID-19 Protocol Fri, 03 Apr 2020 18:49:57 +0000 CORONAVIRUS :  Taking steps for y-our health From Miriam: This protocol was put together for our families drawing upon our own best practices and experiences, as well as recommendations from integrative health practitioners, a biochemist and nutraceutical expert, a family doctor, two nurses, and numerous medical articles and research. We sifted through the information with […]]]>

CORONAVIRUS :  Taking steps for y-our health

From Miriam: This protocol was put together for our families drawing upon our own best practices and experiences, as well as recommendations from integrative health practitioners, a biochemist and nutraceutical expert, a family doctor, two nurses, and numerous medical articles and research. We sifted through the information with the intention of discerning what made most sense from our vantage point, was doable in our households, effective and safe (keep in mind these doses are the ones we are comfortable with for adults – do your own due diligence, and remember “if a little is good it doesn’t mean a lot is gonna be better/safer, so dosing recs are really crucial”. I am not a medical professional. This is not medical advice. The information is given for educational purposes only, and is not intended to advise, diagnose or prescribe. I share it here in case it can support you in your efforts to navigate this novel virus and your overall health. Please consult your trusted physician regarding COVID-19 treatment, especially if you are pregnant or have comorbidities like diabetes, respiratory diseases, CVD, hypertension, or cancer. Take from this what is relevant for you. Do your own discernment. There is currently no one standard treatment for COVID-19. There is plenty of research that nutraceutical measures that flood the body with compounds to enhance the body’s natural immune response can be helpful in preventing and supporting the treatment of viral infections. I will keep updating our protocol here as we learn more. 

IMMUNE SUPPORT : to help keep yourself and others healthy

Keep your Immune System strong:

  • Vitamin D (5000 IU daily) 
  • Magnesium (400mg daily) (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form)
  • Zinc (20-30mg daily)
  • Selenium (100-200 mcg daily)
  • Vitamin C (1000-3000 mg daily)
  • Melatonin (0.2 milligram to 0.5 milligram per day)
  • Quercetin (600 mg/day)
  • Vitamin A palmitate (25,000 IU daily – for protecting our upper respiratory mucus membranes and lining)
  • Vitamin B12 Liquid (hold under tongue for 30 seconds or longer for maximum absorption) 
  • Probiotics to build up and maintain good gut bacteria 

Include anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting foods as much as possible, such as: 

  • Turmeric 
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger 
  • Green Tea 
  • Oregano 
  • Shiitake mushrooms 
  • *Remove sugar and refined starches from your diet (as much as possible) 

Essential Oils: 

There are many essential oils that can help protect you and your immune system, for example rosemary, eucalyptus, clove, lemon, witch hazel, grapefruit, cinnamon leaf (not bark!), tea tree (to clean surfaces, hair and body), frankincense (helps ground and calm): Add these into your overall prevention system. The key concept is prevention. Rub on top of feet, wrists, and chest.

If you are going to get one essential oil, I would suggest Thieves Oil (made with cinnamon leaf, not bark), which combines a few in one. You can also make it yourself, see recipe under ‘Resources’ at the end. 

Additional practices: 

  • Any other preferred immune strengthening (eg. omega 3, shiitake mushrooms), as well as preventive measures such as saline nasal spray, humidifier
  • Greatly reduce intake of sugar and refined starches 
  • Eat healthily (fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lots of healthy protein, healthy fats/oils if possible) , sleep/rest well (min. 7-8 hrs), exercise, fresh air, laugh, be creative

Hygiene practices to contain spread of virus:

  • Frequent hand washing – for 30 seconds with soap, and as soon as one gets home before doing anything else
  • Use hand disinfectant spray 
  • Zinc mouth spray (especially after visiting public spaces) 
  • Stay away from touching your face!
  • Smiles are the new hugs  

Upon Entrance to Home:

  • Create a ‘staging’ area for clean entry into your home. (with wipes/sprays)
  • Remove shoes, outerwear. Wash your clothes immediately and then dry them at high heat or at least dry in the sunshine. (*Practice especially if you work in a high risk environment like a hospital, nursing home, etc) 
  • Wash hands immediately after removing clothing / upon entering your home

Other habits to help stop the spread of the virus:

  • Isolate mail, packages and purchases (including food) before bringing them into the house and leave them isolated a few hours at a minimum. 
  • Self-isolate and stay away from public spaces as much as possible
  • When amongst others (who are not your household members), keep a physical distance of minimum 6 feet.
  • If ever you need to cough, do so in your elbow or a tissue that you discard properly asap, wash hands/arms immediately after. If you need to yawn, ensure you cover your mouth (ideally into elbow rather than hand) 
  • No close contact with anyone sick (unless caregiving them, then ensure proper precautions are taken)

Further preparations in case you get sick:

  • Make/purchase liposomal Vit. C so it is ready and on hand. 
  • Keep all necessary supplements handy.
  • Ensure you have min. two weeks of food.  
  • If you think you may be infected – zinc spray mouth right away, rest, monitor temperature, heart rate and blood oxygen level – then move into Phase 1 (see following section).
TREATMENT PROTOCOL PHASE 1 : begin when you feel sick

Keep Immune System strong:

  • Vitamin C:  high-dose daily (min. 5000 mg daily, in divided doses and up to 50,000mg daily). Ideally liposomal Vit C (more readily absorbable).
  • Melatonin: 5 milligrams to 50 milligrams (lower range is for people with mild or no symptoms; higher range is for older people or those with more severe symptoms)*
  • Vitamin D3: 20,000IU for first three days, then 5000 – 10’000mg/day
  • Magnesium: 400 mg daily (in citrate, malate, chelate, or chloride form)
  • Zinc: 20-30 mg daily
  • Selenium: 100-200 mcg (micrograms) daily
  • Quercetin: 1000-3000 mg/day throughout sickness
  • Glutathione: 500-1000 mg/day (ideally liposomal)

Plus any of your favorite ways to support your system, such as echinacea, immune-7, etc. that are not contraindicated (since this is such a new virus, we don’t have all the info on what does and doesn’t work and will have to keep on learning and adapting).

Important note on Melatonin from Doris Loh: If you are taking ACE inhibitors, have cardiac conditions, hypertension, you need to consult your physician before taking high doses of melatonin.  Melatonin may lower blood pressure and cause hypotension at higher dosages. The Infection dose should ideally be divided into DAYTIME and NIGHTTIME doses. DAYTIME – 40% of total daily dose, divided into small equal portions to be taken every TWO HOURS. NIGHTTIME –  60% of total daily dose, divided into two portions taken 2-3 hours after dinner. The final dose at night should be completed by 10 pm (latest). IF you are diabetic, or have insulin resistance, DO NOT TAKE MELATONIN before 3 pm.  Melatonin is able to suppress insulin. Please remember that oral dosage higher than physiological concentration is applicable during infections only.  Supplementation of high dose melatonin MUST BE SUPPORTED by ascorbic acid. You may not experience full benefits of melatonin in the absence of ascorbic acid. 

  • Stay home! Completely contain / self-isolate. 
  • If possible, get tested! 
  • Reach out to friends and family: you don’t have to go through this alone, even if support is virtual, it is real.


  • Hydrate frequently, if possible with pure water (filtered water recommended >> )
  • Electrolytes 
  • Zinc lozenges 
  • Colloidal Silver Spray
  • Lots of Rest
  • Lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, turmeric, garlic and onions
  • No sugar or refined starches!

Hygiene practices to contain spread of virus:

  • Disinfect all surfaces and touch points in the house and car, etc.
  • Continue with all Phase 0) hygiene
  • Designate bathroom (or bathroom use times) 
  • Designate separate bedroom / sheets (disinfect bedside table often) 
  • Designate cutlery, cup, plate, bowl for single use (everything patient touches) 
  • Wear mask when around others
  • Sunbathe if possible / get as much fresh air as possible 
  • Quarantine for min. 14 days
  • Disinfect doorknobs, doors, all high-touch surfaces
  • When caring for patient wear gloves, mask, gown/clothing cover (change and wash clothing immediately after care – discard gloves and quarantine mask for 72 hours), and keep contact with patient to a minimum 
  • Disinfect the thermometer and oxygenator immediately after use 
  • Keep house humid, and well ventilated (lots of fresh air) 
  • Hydrate often and increase immune boosting

Basic at Home Treatment options: 

  • Hot baths & epsom salt & essential oil (105 degrees Fahrenheit / 41 degrees Celsius), then allow the body to sweat as much as possible) 
  • Dilute essential oil in olive oil before applying directly to skin (2 or 3 droplets in a tablespoon of olive oil) 
  • Humidifier / Oxygenator to keep the air moist and oxygen levels in the body high
  • Hot steam to inhale (take care not to burn yourself), see link >>
  • Your natural or pharmaceutical go-to expectorants and decongestants, such as honey, ginger, peppermint, basil, saline water or Sudafed (this is a brachio-dilator – the pharmacist has to give it to you and you can only buy one every three weeks, you don’t need a prescription from the Dr), Mucinex (it’s an expectorant), NyQuil & DayQuil (Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking this medicine if you have any medical condition) 
  • Tissues
  • Ibuprofens such as Advil may be contraindicated >> 

Stephen Cherniske: “Basically, increase immune support and monitor your condition with a thermometer and a pulse oximeter. The thermometer (thermoscan or conventional) measures your body temperature. The pulse oximeter ($29 on Amazon) measures your heart rate and blood oxygen level. You want your percent oxygen saturation (PO) to be above 95%. A reading below 89% (or suddenly having difficulty climbing stairs) or a fever above 102°F/39°C for longer than 24 – 48 hours means it is time to seek medical helpIf you’re not feverish and your PO is over 95%, and you have optimal levels of DHEA (a hormone intimately involved in the immune response) you should recover in 3 to 5 days.

TREATMENT PROTOCOL PHASE II: when you should seek medical help  

If you experience impaired lung function (difficulty breathing), severe cough, sinus and nasal congestion, weakness, fatigue, impaired sleep and/or persistent high grade fever (38.5°C / 100.4°F or higher) you should seek medical help and may need to be hospitalized.  

In addition to continuing your immune strengthening supplements from Phase I, consider having natural plant-based anti-inflammatories on hand, as well as supplementing with DHEA – see reasoning for this in the following excerpt from biochemist & former university instructor in Clinical Nutrition Stephen Cherniske’s “Immunity Deep Dive – Five Parts”:

“If you have other health problems, especially heart or lung disease, or you’re obese, over 65 with very low levels of DHEA, you may well move to phase two, which includes impaired lung function, a severe cough, sinus and nasal congestion, weakness, fatigue, impaired sleep and a persistent fever. People in phase two should seek medical help and may be hospitalized.

Hospitals are great for monitoring your condition. They can provide breathing treatments, pain management, IV fluids and can manage co-infections including bacterial and fungal complications. But with coronaviruses, phase two often includes body aches, which can indicate something called cytokine storm. The blaring alarm that mobilized your immune system via production of inflammatory cytokines… has continued and now poses another risk. These same cytokines are now causing inflammation in your joints, muscles and airways. Unfortunately, the conventional go-to response is prednisone or a related drug. These steroids rapidly reduce inflammation but they also suppress immunity, and that is the razor’s edge that can determine the outcome of the infection.

The good news is that there are natural plant-based anti-inflammatories that do not suppress immunity. (…) But since you are not about to get those in a hospital, there is another important step you can take. We have known for decades that the immune suppressing effect of prednisone can be minimized by co-administration of DHEA. You can instruct your doctor to measure your DHEA sulfate level. Even if you are not going to be treated with a steroid, this is vitally important information. Keep in mind that you will most likely be in the normal reference range; but that merely indicates the amount of DHEA sulfate in the blood of people your age. Research strongly supports an optimum range – where there are remarkable immune benefits – of 300-450 mcg/dL for men and 200 to 350 mcg/dL for women. With a serious infection, it is very likely that your blood DHEAS will be in double digits, which in my opinion is catastrophic. DHEA can be supplemented orally and if micronized, is highly bioavailable, delivering much needed immune support within hours. If your doctor needs scientific support for your decision, please download my e-book, The Case for DHEA available for free at “



With thanks to the following people in particular for info and/or review: Stephen Cherniske, Doris Loh, Dr. James Robb, Dr. Kirsten, Stephan Martineau & our many friends and colleagues from whom we have been learning for years.

Immunity strengthening >> Immunity Deep Dive – 5 parts – biochemist Stephen Cherniske

How to protect yourself >>  by Dr. Carnahan

Recommendations for individual prevention and containment >> from pathologist Dr James Robb 

To make your own liposomal Vitamin C >>

Studies finding that high doses of antioxidants – in particular, vitamin C –  can help not only prevent, but also treat coronavirus by:

  • Stopping the excessive inflammatory response in the lungs
  • Suppressing the reproduction and spread of the virus within the body
  • Boosting the function of the immune system

Thieves Oil Recipe (reduces stress, neutralizes bacterial and viral pathogens)

  • 35 drops clove essential oil.
  • 30 drops lemon essential oil.
  • 15 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil.
  • 13 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 7 drops rosemary essential oil.
  • 10 ounces witch hazel or water (optional)

Online Apothecary – Emery Herbals for essential oils, teas & tinctures >>


A note on Quercetin from Stephen Cherniske: “Quercetin a flavonoid found in onions, red wine, green tea, apples and berries, has been shown to impair coronavirus infection rate in test-tube experiments. While we cannot assume the same thing happens when we eat quercetin, the effect was so dramatic that it is reasonable to think that taking quercetin can decrease your risk. Since it is unlikely that there is any quercetin left on any store shelf, you can use onions and onion skin tea as good sources of this flavonoid.”



“Thus, the combined use of melatonin and ascorbic acid may prove to be most effective in the treatment for COVID-19 patients, especially those with cardiovascular and hypertension comorbidities.”



Nitric Oxide:

Hydroxychloroquine, a less toxic derivative of chloroquine:

Chloroquine is being mentioned as a possible recommended treatment for Covid-19 –

From pubmed link: “In order to guide and regulate the use of chloroquine in patients with novel coronavirus pneumonia, the multicenter collaboration group of Department of Science and Technology of Guangdong Province and Health Commission of Guangdong Province for chloroquine in the treatment of novel coronavirus pneumonia developed this expert consensus after extensive discussion. It recommended chloroquine phosphate tablet, 500mg twice per day for 10 days for patients diagnosed as mild, moderate and severe cases of novel coronavirus pneumonia and without contraindications to chloroquine.”

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10 Indigenous Holistic Healing Practices Sun, 24 Feb 2019 20:20:16 +0000 What can Western psychotherapy learn from aboriginal practices? Rupert Ross, retired Canadian Crown attorney who worked with hundreds of first-nation communities, has done a great service to healers everywhere. He describes the holistic traditions that heal instead of punishing, that connect instead of maintaining disconnection, that regenerate trust instead of allowing distrust to fester. In […]]]>

What can Western psychotherapy learn from aboriginal practices?

Rupert Ross, retired Canadian Crown attorney who worked with hundreds of first-nation communities, has done a great service to healers everywhere. He describes the holistic traditions that heal instead of punishing, that connect instead of maintaining disconnection, that regenerate trust instead of allowing distrust to fester.

In his three books, Indigenous Healing, Returning to the Teachings, and Dancing with a Ghost, Ross depicts his own journey learning why the Canadian (and Western generally) justice system does not heal but makes things worse within native communities. I’ve described some of his work previously here and here.

Follow The Evolved Nest for updates on Darcia’s work as well as new podcast releases!

Ross first gives the backdrop of the massive intergenerational damage caused by the cultural genocide practices that native peoples faced with the invasion of the Western Europeans, including the intentional kidnapping of children from native families to assimilate them to the dominant culture as late as the 1980s (e.g., the Sixties Scoop).

Generations of native peoples have been mistreated and still are told that their ways are worthless, backward and even evil. For hundreds of years, governments and churches did all they could to ‘remove the Indian’ from the person to ‘save their soul,’ ‘make them a real citizen’ or even ‘make them human.’

As a result of mistreatment in residential schools away from their families and traditions, many natives were traumatized through abuse and other forms of mistreatment. They lost their traditional languages and cultures but were never accepted into mainstream culture either.

The pain and trauma caused have bubbled into epidemics of violence, domestic and sexual abuse, drug and alcohol abuse and suicide in native communities.

Over years of working with aboriginal communities, Ross realized that carting offenders off to jails does not help—it does not heal the underlying trauma.

Ross reviews several native or aboriginal approaches to healing that do work:

Summary of Practices

Ross summarizes the characteristics of these programs that make them successful. As you read through the brief descriptions, notice how they are contrary to dominant (Western European) thinking that assumes as baselines for normality individualism, innate badness, a hierarchy of value of people (some more valuable than others), emphasis on verbal communication, and human separation from nature.

I briefly mention a few aspects of each practice.

1. Focus on Spirit

Aboriginal communities emphasize connecting to forces larger than the self, often not visible but felt, as part of healing.  “Within aboriginal thinking, we are all sacred beings, sharing an identical spirit with all other aspects of Creation. With hard work we can manifest that spirit to greater degrees, building stronger, more respectful relationships. It is a strength-based vision that emphasizes the spiritual gifts and responsibilities we were given, and our duty to honor both.” (p. 228)

He contrasts this approach with “Western therapy,” which he considers based on weakness—focusing on what is wrong with a person and a continual fear of failing. Western therapy also emphasizes the mind, not the heart or spirit, making it ‘not worth very much’ in the opinion of an aboriginal healer Ross quotes.

2. Definition of a Healthy Person

Health involves establishing good relationships with everything in nature, accommodating with openness, humility, and respect. He quotes one therapist saying that within the aboriginal world “power and status are measured not by the individual’s mastery of the environment but by his ability to calmly acquiesce and adjust to a shifting world. Dependency may be viewed as a sign of relatedness and acknowledgment of the importance of others from whom one draws self-worth. The value of the person lies not in his uniqueness or separateness but in his relatedness to a larger social entity.” (p. 213)

“Western therapies promoting individual self-definition, self-assertion and self-promotion will feel improper to aboriginal people” (p. 230).  Instead, the aboriginal client feels that a person is
“the sum of all their relationships within Creation, whether with other people, birds, animals, trees, rocks or rivers.”  (p. 229) A healthy person understands his nestedness, interconnectedness and interdependence, and the responsibilities he has to fulfill to the Whole. Whereas Western psychology perceives a set of “autonomous rights against all other life forms,” aboriginal people perceive “life as an interconnected bundle of responsibilities” (p. 231)

He quotes native psychotherapist Dr. Joseph Couture saying: “Native mind is, therefore, a mind-in-relational activity, a mind-in-community” (p. 232)

Winner of the William James Book Award from the American Psychological Association in 2015

3. Group Healing

Instead of a therapist meeting one-on-one with a client, aboriginal healing practices are group practices. In the therapies mentioned above, people sit in a circle as equals with others suffering from the same abuse or abuse of others. People share personal stories as they will, passing the ‘talking stick’ around the circle. The process of sharing and being listened to, of listening to the unique journeys of recovery promotes healing and self-confidence. When offenders, who often do not realize the harm they have done, sit in a circle of those harmed by other offenders, they begin to let themselves start to understand and feel the suffering they have caused.

4. Individual Health Is Grounded in Social Healing

Aboriginal communities have been damaged as a whole and so it is vital that they recognize group trauma. Also, the community must participate in the healing of relations, providing a bedrock for recovery. Every person’s healing is socially situated, in the nest of relationships and responsibilities mentioned previously.

5. Restoring the Emotional

One’s emotions are central to being human and for tuning into spiritual and relational responsibilities. Lee Brown describes “the heart” as the root of the mind. Healing comes through “heart learning,” and having a pure heart is central to living properly, relationally connected and tuned to spirit.

6. Ceremonies and Catharsis

For the aboriginal communities, there are many traditional ways for releasing emotion and for healing (e.g., sweat lodge) developed over thousands of years. These are complex ceremonies that take many years to learn through experience and mentoring in the native language.

7. Aboriginal Healers

Ross admits his ethnocentric reaction when he first encountered Aboriginal elders who talked about their own lives and choices—he thought they were egocentric because they did not offer an “objective” opinion. But in aboriginal thinking, only an immature person would think he could understand the situation of others and tell them what they should do. Additionally, healing is primarily nonhierarchical though healers who are familiar with the local history, culture and ceremonies and who can bring those to bear in the healing circles.

8. Respect for Everyone’s Worth

Aboriginal communities separate the person from her acts. There is no diagnosing or labeling of people (e.g., alcoholic, offender, freak). Each person is considered “born into sacredness, goodness and kindness” (p. 253), with “the potential to be strong creators of harmony in our relations with all of Creation, though few of us will ever achieve anything close to full relational harmonies” (p. 252). The view is that “With hard work, we can nurture our spirit, learn to recognize our gifts and being to honor our responsibilities” (p. 252). Instead of trying to change the person, the focus is on helping the person change ways of relating.

9. Talking Is Not Always Necessary

The primary focus of healing is on emotional and relational discernment, not cognitive understanding. The direct way to do this is in concrete activities like berry picking, making art or storytelling. The indirect way would be through talking, which is considered less effective.

10. The Importance of Land for Healing

The best place to learn accommodation to all one’s relations is on the land. You cannot defy the weather. One must compromise to survive and thrive. Experiencing the landscape helps one connect to something greater than the self, the more-than-human world, a “cathedral, full of life, promise, openness, and blessedness” (p. 261).  The largest lesson is that “humans are small, unskilled, dependent and blessed with everything they’ll ever need” (p. 260).

Ross also discusses complementary Western therapies that some aboriginal peoples find helpful and points out that for trauma that is intergenerational and extensive, healing will be a lifelong effort.

In my own experience of healing from a typical baby-boomer childhood in the USA, though far from the extreme and intergenerational trauma that aboriginal peoples have experienced, healing may be lifelong for all of us. Civilization does not nurture our deeper selves and so they must be hidden away. Aboriginal healing practices may bring us all back to Life.


Photo Shutterstock/Erlucho



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How Climate Change Will Shift Our Consciousness: An Interview With Stephanie Mines, PhD Fri, 06 Apr 2018 00:16:28 +0000 How will climate change impact our human consciousness? How are consciousness-raising movements like #MeToo bringing to light enculturated trauma that will move us toward individual and collective healing? How can a Sustainable Healthcare Model help us prepare and heal for climate change? Listen to neuroscientist, Stephanie Mines, PhD, share insights into the relationship between trauma, […]]]>

How will climate change impact our human consciousness? How are consciousness-raising movements like #MeToo bringing to light enculturated trauma that will move us toward individual and collective healing? How can a Sustainable Healthcare Model help us prepare and heal for climate change?

Please support our 20 year old, award-winning, nonprofit work to Share the New Story of Childhood, Parenthood and the Human Family.

Listen to neuroscientist, Stephanie Mines, PhD, share insights into the relationship between trauma, human consciousness, the wake up call of the #MeToo movement and climate change. Mines shares over 35 years of insights into human neurobiology and spirituality crossing worldviews and integrating our capacity for healing from shock and trauma. Mines believes the shock of climate change will move the now considered fringe science of healing ourselves to the center of our culture and consciousness in the coming years.

The transcript for this interview is below.

Discover the Consciousness and Climate Change conference:

Visit Dr. Mines at

Consciousness and Climate Change: An Interview with Stephanie Mines, PhD


LISA REAGAN: Welcome to Kindred, an alternative media outlet and non-profit initiative of Kindred World. This is Lisa Reagan and today I’m talking with Dr. Stephanie Mines about climate change and consciousness. Dr. Mines has devoted herself to the resolution of personal and collective trauma for over 35 years. She is the author of five books, including We Are All in Shock, New Frontiers and Sensory Integration, and the most recent, They were Families, How War Comes Home. Welcome, Dr. Mines.

STEPHANIE MINES: Thank you, Lisa. It’s great to be here with you!

LISA REAGAN: It is wonderful to be here with you. We’re here to talk about today is climate change and consciousness, which is also an upcoming conference in Findhorn, Scotland a year from now. But there is so much territory to cover between consciousness and trauma and climate change, you and I could meet regularly for the next year.

STEPHANIE MINES: I’d love to do that. I’d love to do that Lisa!

LISA REAGAN: Your work in the past has been on trauma. You have the book, We Are All in Shock. I remember getting that book years ago and this was… what year was that book published.

STEPHANIE MINES: That book was published in 2013.

LISA REAGAN: Okay, it wasn’t that long ago. It feels like it was. But, your work has focused on trauma for 35 years. Can you start us off by just helping us get some understanding around what is shock, what is trauma, what are the differences?

The Difference Between Shock and Trauma

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah, I’m happy to do that and let me just say that there was the earlier book which was Sexual Abuse – Sacred Wound: Transforming Deep Trauma. That was published in 1998, so that was really my first book on this topic of differentiating shock from trauma and We Are All in Shock actually was the most comprehensive statement about that. So that first book on sexual abuse was the definition really of shock. So sexual abuse, a violation of that magnitude is in the category of shock more than it is in the category of trauma.

So these words are used interchangeably and it’s unlikely that I’m going to make a big difference in that habit of using those words interchangeably. But for people like us who really can make those discernment, it is important from the standpoint of being of service of others to realize that there is a difference. So it is a difference of magnitude and the illustration that I frequently reference is a metaphor: if the lights in the room where you’re doing your work go out, that’s a trauma, because you can’t proceed with your work, but usually if the lights go out in the room where you are, they can be turned back on fairly easily. There is a solution available. There are resources available to get the lights back on.

But the lights go out in your house, in your neighborhood, in your village, in your community and nobody knows why that happened and there isn’t a direct way to get the lighting restored, that is shocking. That is overwhelming. People become disoriented and confused and they feel helpless and they feel that they cannot access the resources that we get them out of the hole that they’re in and that is much more the experience of shock. So, the ratio that we look at to differentiate shock from trauma is: are the resources available to remedy the situation? With shock, the resources are frequently not obvious and may fall into black and white categories like life and death. So the way that shock usually happens is when the individual is in an unresourced situation.

Developmentally, shock frequently relates to early development. So, in utero, for instance, the resources are somewhat limited. So shock that occurs in utero is overwhelming. The prenate, the developing baby, cannot relocate, can’t find another food source, can’t find other options for how they will survive. So the availability of options is a critical factor in differentiating shock from trauma.

LISA REAGAN: It’s really about the resources. Are there differences in neurobiology and neuropsychology?

STEPHANIE MINES: Oh, absolutely. You mean, in terms of what happens as a result of shock and trauma?

LISA REAGAN: Right, I guess I’m thinking about the ACES study that is very popular right now and also the term trauma-informed treatment and trauma-informed care are popping up and no one is using the word shock, so I am just trying to help our listeners understand what they’re hearing out there and the difference between what they’re hearing out there, as you’re saying, resources to address it and resources not available, and what is it. We’re going to talk about ACES in just a moment.

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah, I am really glad that you’re correlating the fact that trauma is being used much more globally. The word shock is not used. I do want to mention that Naomi Klein, a climate change commentator, wrote a book called The Shock Doctrine and I think that’s important. We’ll come back to that in our conversation because climate change falls into the category of shock versus trauma. I even use the term trauma-informed touch to explain some of the interventions that I teach in the entire approach of shock and trauma. I think that term is useful because it implies that the person touching or the person providing treatment has an understanding of trauma in a kind of general way.

From my standpoint as a neuroscientist, differentiating shock from trauma is essential because the way that the brain responds to trauma and the way that the brain responds to shock is different.

LISA REAGAN: That’s exactly what I suspected.

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah, exactly. This actually correlates with addictive patterns. So, if the individual’s organic quest to satisfy a need is impossible to satiate, there are no resources to satiate it, those are completely unavailable, the individual is more likely to find an addictive compensation because their life depends on satisfying that need. Addictions are simply compensations for organic needs that were impossible to satisfy. In terms of ACES, what we see that this study educates us about is that when early development is thwarted, when early development is inappropriate and not able to meet the needs of the developing being, then not only is that person psychologically in distress, that person is in distress at every level of their being, including their immune system. Their very longevity is threatened and that makes perfect sense to me.

This has a great deal to do with how the immune system functions and the relationship between the immune system and the nervous system. The nervous system, which organizes in response to threat, has a direct line of communication to the kidney-adrenal system and if that system of adrenal or cortisol response is oriented in a particular way, either sympathetically or para-sympathetically, over and over and over again, there is no way that the immune system can’t be compromised and the degree of compromise of the immune system is in direct correlation to the magnitude of threat of shock and trauma in early life.

The ACES study is very useful from that standpoint. The one thing that I do want to point out about the ACES Study and it’s incredible value, especially for the medical profession, is that there are other options for the individual who has such a burden on their nervous and immune systems, and I am speaking more here from my own personal experience as someone who came into this field as a result of my own early experiences of trauma and I don’t think that is unique to me. I think a lot of people in the helping professions entered that field because of their own experience and their compassionate outreach. I would say that while adverse impacts on my early life were definitely overwhelming and definitely fell into the category of shock, I did find resources in certain areas within myself that I would define as spiritually-based that allowed me to develop considerably in my health in my life and to be in a field that increases the quality of my lifestyle and increases my health, so that as I enter my elder-hood, which I believe now I’m well established in, I’m about to be 74, I find myself getting healthier and healthier.

I think that is because I have learned the art of regeneration, which is what I teach in the TARA Approach, even though the outcomes for adverse childhood experiences are daunting, there are other options. There are ways to regenerate. There are ways for those who choose consciousness and for those who research appropriate resources to not be condemned by any means to those health consequences of adverse childhood experiences. I just want to hold that out there: that people who experience adverse childhood experiences are not condemned to poor health. With the right education, the right outreach, and what I call sustainable health, which is really more on a family level, on a grassroots level, on a community level, on a level that everyone can access, through bringing in those sustainable health resources that I am very much in the business of compiling,we can turn this around. I intend to make that available to as many people as possible.

How Childhood Trauma Makes Us Sick Adults, an interview with ACEs Study researcher, Vincent Felitte, MD

LISA REAGAN: I do appreciate the work that you’re doing and I should tell the listeners that Dr. Mines is one of those rare scientists and practitioners that not only bridge worldviews, but goes back and forth up and down timelines and integrates our neurobiology with our spirituality in ways that are practical and it’s stunning. She has a great TED talk on Kindred, The Neuropsychology of Spiritual Guidance, that you’re welcome to enjoy.

Right now, I want to do what I do best, which is an old gum shoe journalist, be a Debbie Downer for a moment, laughs. What I want to do is talk about the distance that we’ve already traveled with the ACES study, done in 1973 by the Kaiser Permanente Group by Dr. Vincent Felitti (watch his talk here). His talk is also up on Kindred along with some other information on ACES and an ACES quiz to find out what your score is. This adverse childhood events list came out of studying women who couldn’t lose weight and what he found was that the majority of them were sexually molested at some point in their childhood and losing weight made their neurobiology feel unsafe, so they would just pack the weight. That revelations prompted a deeper look, because as he says in his interviews, nobody believes that relationship was possible: that you could have lifelong consequences from childhood trauma. That’s why the ACES study is so riveting. Even though it is 2018, people are rolling it out like they just discovered it.

For example, Oprah Winfrey was just on 60 Minutes last month saying that the ACES study was “game-changing”. So, I would just like to say I know this is why Kindred exists and why we do the work we do here as a we keep trying to trot out the New Story and gather everyone who is a part of it so that there is more visibility and coherence in this new emerging worldview. But when you are saying that it is possible to recover and they are acting like they just discovered it…


Oprah Winfrey, Trauma Recovery And Waiting On Mainstream Media To Catch Up

LISA REAGAN: How much longer do we have to wait for this information to mainstream as well?

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah, well, this is beautiful what you’re pointing to, Lisa. I really appreciate the way that you’re bringing all of this together. I am reminded very much of the work of Rebecca Solnit, who talks about what’s in the center and what’s on the edges in her small book that she wrote that is still incredibly relevant on hope, Hope In The Dark. What you’re saying really illustrates this. So in the center, we have Oprah Winfrey talking to one of my heroes, Dr. Bruce Perry. Love that man and I have followed his work and his writing devotedly. He really is a hero for me. But here she is talking about information and that some of us, like me, have been talking about for decades and acting as if, wow, this is a game-changer, and because she is talking about it, it becomes a game-changer because she’s in the center. I mean, Bruce Perry has been doing this work for a long time. I am so glad she chose him because he really packs in the experience and his compassion for working with children and families is enormous and he has been brought in to all of the major cases where children have been abused and taken advantage of and misused in collective situations.

But, meanwhile, while we have this sudden event in the center with Oprah Winfrey, out on the fringes on the corners on the edges of society in the places that we don’t see in the media, we don’t see on major television networks, not being pushed as headlines, we have people like you and me and many many mothers and families who I have worked with for a long time who are soaking up this understanding of relational based family dynamics where parents are the anchors for their children and understand how they can emphatically nurture the development of their offspring and who are really fostering development that is organic, that is following the child. That is allowing the child’s brain to have optimum opportunities for evolution.

This is happening outside of the cameras and the racy news stuff that we all think is so important and Rebecca Solnit’s theory, which I espouse, is that those edges and those outskirts are slowly moving into the center. We will slowly become the centerpiece in a very natural and simple way. Unfortunately, I think it’s climate change that’s going to cause that to occur because climate change will eradicate this idea that what is in the center, what everybody appears to be, you know, racing their hearts about, that will disappear. What happens in collective communities where people are really surviving and thriving based on their love for one another, based on their respect for each other, based on their belief in the children of the future and fostering human development and serving humanity — that will then become the centerpiece and those things that we’ve known, those of us particularly have been working in promoting mother and child-centered birth practices and understanding the crucial role of the primal period in development. Those of us who have been doing that now for a long time, we’ve been talking this talk for quite a while and people have been listening and raising their children according to that. Those people will then be able to flourish in a world that will be radically altered by climate change as Naomi Klein describes in The Shock Doctrine.

Climate Change Will Shift Our Consciousness

LISA REAGAN: So climate change might shift our consciousness in a way that we won’t need to have those in the center, the status quo defenders, people who have pharmaceutical ads as being the answer between their show breaks be the people who are going to show us the way. That is my concern with the ACES study now is who is trotting it out and who is going to benefit from the “discovery” of the ACES study. I say that because what I want to do now is move us into the territory of what you have discovered and what you write about and what you’re presenting at the Consciousness and Climate Change Conference, which requires us to shift our worldview considerably in order to facilitate these healing models.

Robin Grille’s video to help parents talk with children about climate change is brilliant and practical. You can also find Robin at the upcoming Climate Change and Consciousness Conference at Findhorn, Scotland, in April 2019.

STEPHANIE MINES: Absolutely and it’s really interesting to me. I myself am completely strapped by the fact that I just recently did my first webinar that is precursor to the climate change and consciousness event that is going to happen in 2019 at Findhorn so that is a monumental event with top name presenters like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein and Vandana Shiva and many other stellar minds speaking about climate change and consciousness, but climate change and consciousness is actually a movement and from my standpoint, the movement has already begun and I launched this first webinar just about a week ago on the topic of women, cancer, the #MeToo movement and climate change.

This is the interface between what ACES is saying about adverse early childhood experiences, the current sorry state of our health in the world, which is declining rapidly and cancer being despite some advances in certain areas, on the rise, particularly for women, particularly for women of color and the way in which we need to look both deeper and more simply at how we can vitalize our immune system functions in the face of climate change and in the face of adverse childhood experiences. This is completely counter to the pharmaceutical approach and I have to say, I am required to, but I also absolutely do believe this, that I am not speaking against the allopathic or Western medical model. That model has incredible value. When my husband had a heart attack, I can tell you that I was very happy that the kind of services that he received in hospital worked. They worked beautifully and he has had an amazing recovery and he is probably healthier than ever before as a result of having a stent, of taking certain kinds of medications, and also living an extremely healthy lifestyle.

So I am not speaking against the medical profession. I respect and appreciate the medical profession for what they’ve done for me and my family, but as I think we all know, they don’t have the whole story and they act as if they do. So I believe that the two can work together, this really deep and simple understanding of our empowered capacities to heal ourselves and to heal our families and to heal our families. I believe that the capacity to do that is in our own hands, not in opposition to the medical profession, with the medical profession when the medical profession is needed, which isn’t all of the time.

So in my webinar on women, cancer, the #MeToo movement and climate change, what I talked about was the historical legacy of women keeping secrets and that’s of course the correlation with the #MeToo movement. So the #MeToo movement is an incredibly healthy movement. It’s a movement to come out of hiding. It’s a movement to have the courage to tell the truth. It’s the movement of independence and it’s the movement of an authentic voice and lineages of women have compromised their volume because of traditions that they sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously and habitually replicate. That has got to change and that is changing and in my webinar, I was encouraging the participants to change it for themselves deeply and precisely.

So what I was pointing to was how incredibly precise the immune system is. The immune system is gorgeous. It is such a work of art and what the immune system does is make definitive decisions instantaneously, so the immune system has the capacity to identify a threat and just eradicate it on the spot so that it is decimated. That capacity to have impeccable boundaries like that and to act on those impeccable boundaries, we need to cultivate. There is too much deliberation whether something is threatening or is not threatening. So the immune system gets confused when the person in whose body it lives doesn’t take care of themselves in that definitive way and that’s what telling the truth is a simple and definitive action that calls the shots the way they are and trusts in the power of that truthfulness and that’s the correlation between the #MeToo movement, women, and cancer and I say that with no blame whatsoever to the women who have perhaps felt they had to keep secrets, but that time is over. That is completely unnecessary and coming out of hiding is much more valuable than staying hidden.

That action gives the immune system a sense of being in the right place at the right time and doing the right thing and the way that climate change enters that formula is that climate change is a shock because it threatens everything and how do you respond to it? It has to be definitive and it has been immediate. So we have to change a lot and it’s that willingness to change. It’s that receptivity to change. It’s that resilience that promises to give us health and that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot as I approach my 74th birthday and I realize, you know, my whole life is turning on a dime right now. I am remaking myself as I enter my 74th year. There’s nothing about retirement or stability or you know, comfort, that is appealing to me. I am stepping into a whole new evolution, a whole new phase of who I am and how I appear in the world and how I feel and that to me is the health that I have earned through the regeneration from adverse experiences.

Gaia Is Calling Women To Wake Up To Self-Nurture

LISA REAGAN: I have read your blog post about women and climate change. Can you speak specifically the way you do in your articles about how climate change is going to affect women in particular?

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STEPHANIE MINES: Well, women I think are the leaders in this period of accelerating climate change. I just watched an incredible video by a leader, a man, who spoke of the womb of the earth and how nothing really changes until the women change. We, I feel, are being called to step up as leaders, as our Mother Earth, the deeply feminine force of the earth, Gaia, calls us forward to stand for her. We are her voices. I think this is a time of challenge for women and the way that our health is being impacted, I think is a reflection of how deeply we are challenged. I have many young students, women I know, friends of my daughters, who are being diagnosed with breast cancer and it’s horrific, but what is amazing is how they’re choosing with these diagnoses to turn it around. So they’re taking the diagnosis as a wake up call and they are empowering themselves and finding out who they really are because of this diagnosis very much as climate change is helping everyone, but women in particular to find out who we are.

LISA REAGAN: So let me draw some… let me connect some dots between you use the phrase “kinesthetic empathy”…


LISA REAGAN: To describe how women are enculturated to be the sponges for trauma around them, especially in men, you’ve written a whole book about bringing war home to the family and how that is not even addressed in our culture. So how does someone turn around this being a sponge for everyone into now I am going to take care of myself.

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah. This is the wake up call and it’s a great question. You are still an incredible journalist, Lisa, and I don’t think you should refer to yourself as an old journalist.

LISA REAGAN: I’m an old shoe. I’ve been around a while.

STEPHANIE MINES: Well, you know, it’s the critical mind of the journalist that I love and that I think is also incredibly healthy. It is even that critical mind that I would say women need to cultivate generally in terms of themselves so that we can wake up for our mother Gaia and for our children and become the leaders that Gaia wants us to be. So how do we identify this unconscious absorption that women are enculturated towards that just has us soaking up all of the angst and all of the anxiety and all of the stress that is not just in our families or just in our homes, but you know, in the entire world around us and the way that we can become conscious of it is by examining it by using our capacities for awareness and intelligence and consciousness and focus. Our ability to focus, we have to bring up that capacity to focus so that we can differentiate ourselves from what is going on around us and find our voice, find the particular role that Gaia has in mind for us as forces to be of service in any variety of ways. It doesn’t have to be big, it can just be with one other individual, one child.

How Gaia is working through us for the salvation of humanity and of the earth, so we have to be able to focus. I have been saying this about women, to women, for women, with women, for a long time. It’s that ability to zero in on what is the truth to examine and in the webinar that I did, I put forth my concept of deep journaling, which is just a way of using writing to exercise the critical mind and examine how we’re making our choices, what is it that we’re feeling, not just by recording it or documenting it, but by really inquiring into it and I would say that’s one of the regenerative capacities that was a gift to me by my extremely adverse childhood experiences because I was so unsafe in the family and the environment in which I was forced to live that I became very introverted and very skilled at tracking everything within me and around me as a way to feel some sense of safety and stability and I’ve never lost that. That has been honed and refined and educated throughout my development, mostly at my own instigation, so the ability to be curious about ones self.

This is a very animal instinct, you know how animals really inquire into everything. They’re so curious about everything. That’s really a part of the healthy primitive brain and we want to regain that. We want to learn that again because we had it as children and adverse early experiences stripped that away from us. I couldn’t do that as a child. I couldn’t do that in a physical way. I couldn’t just explore and be curious in my movements because that wasn’t safe, but I never stopped being curious internally and I really believe, Lisa, that saved my life and I realize that as a neuroscientist when I saw the interaction between dopamine and oxytocin, you know, they’re very interactive, so I didn’t have too much oxytocin. I had a little bit from my grandpa, but there wasn’t much oxytocin flowing in my home when I was growing up, but I contained within my own little private secret world, I contained a lot of dopamine. I just kept circulating my dopamine and that dopamine, that curiosity ultimately gave me the capacity to self generate my own oxytocin with itself and so you could say that I’ve continued to develop that, the ability to be self inquiring and the ability to be creative and the ability to track responses to circumstances and transform them into their most optimum outcome.

So that’s all part of the self care that I teach, but what’s happening for me in this third act of life is that it’s not just about self care. By taking care of myself in this way, by nurturing my intelligence, by learning to focus, by focusing more and more all of the time, looking more and more deeply into myself all of the time and allowing shifts to happen spontaneous as the result of a really heightened sorting ability, I am of more and more service to my blessed world that is on the brink of disaster.

So self care is really what allows me at this juncture to make the transition from “I to We” so that I become even more of a servant by serving myself. So I hope, my hope really in what I’m saying to you right now and what I’m doing in my life right now is to be a model to other women to the best of my ability and I really say this with a lot of humility, because I feel very guided in this, but to be a model for the beauty of elder-hood, to be a model for the beauty of this practice of focused self-inquiry and self-care that is urgent right now. So we want to be urgent without being desperate, you know, we want to slow down to speed up. You know, this capacity to really steer yourself forward as a brilliant female contributor to this world that we’re living in. That’s what I want to be a model of for women.

LISA REAGAN: This sustainable healthcare model that you’re advocating for and that will be presented at the conference?

STEPHANIE MINES: Yes. The sustainable healthcare model that I’m developing more and more everyday and then I just applied to a fellowship to develop even further is a model of the kinds of resources that can be sustained by an individual, that can be sustained by a family, that can be sustained by a community that is cut off potentially from the western medicine that we need for, you know, the acute situations when it’s a miracle, like my husband’s heart attack, for instance.

The kinds of self care that can keep an individual, a family, a community healthy despite the difficult circumstances they might be in, the challenges, and the lack of access to institutionalized care. That is the sustainable health model. It involves combining traditional medicines that work for indigenous communities beautifully and that are in some cases ancient with evolution and improvements on those that have developed like my own TARA approach, which takes an ancient Japanese energy medicine system and transforms it into trauma-informed touch so that kind of evolution adapts these ancient traditions for the current times. All of that goes into the sustainable health medicine bag and what I will do also with the model is train practitioners in the dissemination of these sustainable health interventions.

The New Sustainable Healthcare Model

LISA REAGAN: So speak for a moment about what we were talking about right before we started recording, you were saying that this kind of sustainable healthcare model is really needed by white westerners and talk for a little bit about how you were just in New Zealand and how that was a different experience.

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah. Yeah. You’re a great weaver, Lisa and I love the way that you’re paying attention.


STEPHANIE MINES: I love it and I am so grateful for it. So, yes, I was just privileged to be invited in to a beautiful Mauti community called Parihaka on the north island of New Zealand and the district that’s called Taranaki named for Mount Taranaki and Parihaka is now being known and people haven’t known about it. It is just coming out now that Parihaka was a center for non-violent passive resistance when the British were raping and really destroying basically trying to commit genocide against the Mauti so that they could acquire their beautiful beautiful land and New Zealand is exemplary in making restitution for that more and more.

There’s a long way to go yet, but it’s happening and it is somewhat evidenced by how I was received into the Parihaka community, totally unexpectedly and totally with me being raw and wordless, really. I don’t speak Mauti. It’s an incredible language and I want to learn it, but everything that I was exposed to was in Mauti, so I felt like an outsider but it turned out that I wasn’t. So what I learned about was the incredible health of the Mauti community itself. So I think for white people, this sense of being healed in the heart of community is unusual. Even though I come from really an old world family myself, myself and my family we are all immigrants from eastern Europe, a very traditional peasant eastern European Jewish family, but we were so fragmented by being in America that the core of comfort and the core of sustainability that is the truth of what the family is or what the community is was gone and was lost.

People were so incredibly damaged by being, you know, ostracized and beaten and tossed out and torn asunder and stripped from their traditions that instead of the family being a sanctuary, it became another territory of war, very much like what I describe in They were Families: How War Comes Home. But in the Mauti family, even though the Mauti people have suffered the ravages of a colonization just like the Native Americans have in the US, the family is really a shelter. It is really a source of incredible healing and knowing that family is there for you and also the healing traditions within that family, which include nature as the primary one, the natural world, listening to, being part of, connecting with the natural world, which is something that I insist upon as being a component of the conference, Climate Change and Consciousness.

That everyone there, whether you’re Bill McKibben or you’re a registered participant, you will be exposed to deepening relationship with the natural world. That is innate in the Mauti community. You know, Mount Taranaki is not the mountain that is beautiful out there. Mount Taranaki is a relative. It is part of the family and the songs the language of the community are instruments of healing. I was so blessed to be asked to do some healing of trauma in community on a day at Parihaka that was organized for women peacekeepers from throughout Aotearoa and I saw as I was working with a traumatized family in a whole collective situation, as I was using the TARA approach, the healing interventions of the TARA approach, at certain moments, the whole group, Lisa, the whole group would start to sing. I can send you some photos of this.

LISA REAGAN: I would love that.

STEPHANIE MINES: It was so incredibly beautiful. It was hard for me. I mean, I didn’t even try as the practitioner supposedly conducted this, to keep from wailing. I was working with a mother and a daughter and as the trauma issues surfaced at certain junctures, the whole group would start to sing in Mauti. So the songs were part of the healing. The circle itself, the gathering, became part of the healing. So these songs, even the youngest girl who was there knew the songs. These songs have been kept alive. What songs do we have? What songs would we sing to each other as a source of healing? So that’s what I mean. That’s an example of what I mean when I say that the sustainable health paradigm will include what I learned from the Mauti, but it is needed not by the Mauti, but by those of us who have lost that kind of connection with the natural world and also with community.

LISA REAGAN: Right. Well, my family comes from farming family and standing around pianos and singing together and having meals together is something I have written about on Kindred as one of the inspirations for the work I do. The name of the article is My Grandma Is Not A Hippie. All of the stuff I want to do has gotten me labeled as a hippy, but my grandmother did it and she wasn’t a hippy. It was just how people lived closer to community.

STEPHANIE MINES: That’s so beautiful. That’s not what we’re going to go back to, but it’s what we’re going to bring along, because it’s restoring that with the upgrade to consciousness that needs to accompany it. That’s a beautiful reference because it was one moment when I was at Parihaka and there are certain ceremonies that are required and they are all done in Mauti for entering a space. I don’t know the rituals, I’ve never done them. I was being asked to participate in a ritual that was bringing me into a space and at a certain point, someone said, now you’re supposed to sing a song.

Someone said to me, in English obviously, well now that you’ve gotten this far in this process, now you have to sing a song and I was just gobsmacked, because number one I have a terrible voice, I don’t sing well, and I don’t know any songs. Whatever song I know, I thought nobody really wants to hear me sing it, so I was stupefied and then finally just out of my mouth came this Yiddish folk song that my grandmother sang me when I was little and I didn’t even know that I remembered it. It was in Yiddish and I just let it out and then it was only later that I learned that step in the ritual was one in which you’re supposed to sing a song from the land from which you came.

LISA REAGAN: Oh gosh, wow. Well, we have to do a whole other call on this because as somebody who has worked to create community and bring community together in the US, one of the many books that I am finishing or else, talks about my, and not just mine, but other people’s efforts in the United States to bring people together and what we saw. I know Darcia Narvaez has written a lot about neurobiology and this sort of thing in her work as well. In America, because we’re almost like prime to belong to a cult. We want someone to tell us what to do and what to say I think and how to feel. So the minute we roll out and say these are sacred ceremonial rituals and we’re going to access our spirit and this piece of ourselves and come together, what I’ve found in the past… it wasn’t always true but it is true enough to make it significant is that people wanted to create life rafts and then, okay, this is how it’s done and this is the ritual, instead of there was some missing step there of consistent community and heart opening experience. It’s like the experiential piece isn’t there enough for us to create the new reality that we’re still in our heads.

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah, I totally agree.

LISA REAGAN: So I’ve seen that, yeah. But we have such a long journey ahead of us and I’m so glad that you’re there holding the space that you are. I just wonder if you could take a moment and tell our listeners anything you want to say about the conference and then where to find you online.

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah. That’s actually a really good segway, because I big part of the conference is very much on this topic of building community, because exactly as you are saying, we need to learn how to do that. There are going to be people at the conference who know far better than I. I haven’t built community. I am learning about community right now through my work with this conference and this is part of me remaking myself in my third act here. I always thought what I really wanted was a lot of isolation and independence so I could write my poetry and my novels and not be bothered by other people. It turns out really that’s not how creativity really flourishes. It flourishes in community. So that’s a big part of climate change and consciousness, so the conference is “Climate Change and Consciousness: Our Legacy for the Earth.” The website is but I want to also emphasize that this is not just about a conference where we have these major presenters like Bill McKibben and Vandana Shiva and Naomi Klein and other stellar speakers. We have all of that.

We have a great banner of incredible people who are going to be presenting, but we also have incredible participants, all of whom will be presenters at some point in the conference. We have incredible workshops. But even beyond that, I see this as a movement that leads to what happens when the conference is over. That’s what is important. That’s when the communities manifest. That’s when people implement the brilliant ideas, the networks that are generated at the event itself and I am working now to the best of my ability to make sure that some structure for that action plan is in place. I am very much emphasizing the sustainable health component, but all of the other components also have to be in place. It’s a huge undertaking. There are people who want to help me and learn about the sustainable health component through my paradigm of the TARA approach. You can reach me on that website, and through my personal email, which you’ll find on that website and I welcome a response from those who would be interested in supporting, for instance by sponsoring people who can’t afford to attend. I’ve just been able to get some funding for some Mauti youth. There’s a huge youth component to this conference. Youth are a centerpiece to this event.

Every aspect of this event is given to me in guidance, so this whole conference was given to me as an assignment and it was very specific, so it was spiritually directed and anyone who wants to see the eight principles of this conference which were dictated to me, I am happy to share that with you. So the concept of climate change and consciousness is actually a movement. It will go on beyond the event itself and there are also precursor events occurring, such as the webinar I just spoke of and I am doing another webinar on April 21 which will be about the relationship between the human nervous system and Gaia’s. Yeah, you’re invited to that Lisa if you’d like to attend.

LISA REAGAN: That sounds wonderful.

STEPHANIE MINES: Yeah. It’s going to be a lot of fun and it is going to include a visualization and meditation that allows us to hookup with the Gaia and nervous system so that we can respond to her needs more readily and that’s on my website already. We just I think posted it today. So and We welcome everyone.

LISA REAGAN: Well, thank you so much. I am so in awe of you and 35 years devoted to this territory and that you can report back to this degree, it just blows me away. I read your work and I realize the depth and breadth that you’re covering that I just really really deeply deeply appreciate that you have done this. You have held this space.

STEPHANIE MINES: Thank you, thank you.

LISA REAGAN: I would like to tell our listeners, if you would like to read the transcript and any pictures that Stephanie is going to share with us, you can find them at I don’t know where you are going to run across this recording, but is where you can find the transcript and all kinds of resources that I will tack at the bottom as well for the conference and other works that you have to share.

STEPHANIE MINES: I want to acknowledge you Lisa because I really want to honor this journalistic mind, this inquisitive mind of yours. I want to support you in writing your book or books I should say and I want to thank you for hearing me and seeing me and acknowledging me and recognizing me and giving me this opportunity to communicate my mission and my directive to the world.

LISA REAGAN: Oh, thank you so much. It’s wonderful and you are in my community, so we all get to play in the sand box together as I like to say. It’s wonderful.

STEPHANIE MINES: Wonderful. Thank you, thank you Lisa.

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Herbal Medicines And Moving Toward Source: An Interview With Francis Brinker Mon, 08 Jan 2018 20:56:39 +0000 Francis Brinker, ND, helps the listener move from considering purchasing an herb on a grocery store aisle for a symptom (a uniquely American and rational, reductionist use of herbs) through the history, science and ultimately holistic understanding of our human relationship with plants and their potential to support our wholeness. Dr. Brinker asks the listener […]]]>

Francis Brinker, ND, helps the listener move from considering purchasing an herb on a grocery store aisle for a symptom (a uniquely American and rational, reductionist use of herbs) through the history, science and ultimately holistic understanding of our human relationship with plants and their potential to support our wholeness.

Dr. Brinker asks the listener to consider, “How close do you want to be to the source?” and points out in the interview that this question can shift the person’s view from a rational-reductionist view of treating symptoms to an awareness of the potential in relationship with plants.

Dr. Brinker’s work has influenced and shaped our understanding of herbal medicine today. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona’s Department of Medicine as well as the author of numerous books, including Complex Herbs, Complete Medicines and the first book of its kind published in 1997, Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions. His latest book is All American Berries: Potent Foods for Lasting Health, expands on the knowledge of native plants to support health and even reverse disease.

About This Book

This book’s first edition (1997) was the first of its kind in addressing herbal interactions with drugs. This 4th edition keeps current with research findings and scrupulously distinguishes between what is known through (1) empirical clinical observations such as case reports, (2) data obtained from modern clinical human studies, (3) different types of laboratory research on animals and with tissues and cells. Over 2700 medical and scientific sources are cited to document these findings. In addition, the type of preparation studied is described to emphasize differences between preparations from the same herb, along with dosage size and duration. Conflicting results are utilized to put these issues in context. This fourth edition further highlights those combinations of herbal preparations with drugs shown to beneficially enhance therapeutic activity or reduce adverse effects, identified for 98 of the 321 herbs listed in the main text. In addition, extensive appendices organize information on these 321 and additional herbal remedies into categories addressing specific cautions, interactions with particular types of drugs, precautions for mothers, infants and children, drug interactions with vitamins and minerals, and advantageous combinations with medicines used for inflammations, infections, cancer, and for addressing substance abuse. The appendix sections addressing herbal influences on drug absorption and metabolism involving transport proteins, cytochrome P450 isoenzymes, and conjugating enzymes are the most extensive compilations available anywhere.
The American Botanical Council Recommendation: 

Herbal Contraindications and Drug Interactions Plus Herbal Adjuncts with Medicines, 4thed.

“I have kept a copy of this book close at hand since the first edition was published in 1997. Through all four editions, as my herb safety questions have become more precise and extensive, it has consistently answered them. This expanded 2010 edition addresses “herbal agents” rather than herbs, acknowledging that herbal extracts and components are often used, rather than the whole herb. It also includes a new section on the potentially beneficial herbal-drug combinations and highlights combinations that might be beneficial in specific conditions. As in each of the previous editions, the appendices offer ready references to specific questions, such as herbals that fall into specific categories such as those to be used with caution in specific conditions and due to specific potential effects, and herbal-drug interactions that modify or potentiate specific effects of certain medicines or in specific conditions. Most of all, I appreciate that the author never stops researching, documenting, and updating the information that will appear in the next edition and makes that information available on an ongoing basis.”

Gayle Engels, Special Projects Director

Photo Shutterstock/Sebastian Duda

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Why Capitalism Makes Us Sick – Video With Gabor Maté, MD Fri, 13 Oct 2017 15:27:18 +0000 Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and is also widely recognized for his perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder and his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health. He has authored four books exploring topics including attention deficit disorder, stress, developmental psychology […]]]>

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician who specializes in the study and treatment of addiction and is also widely recognized for his perspective on Attention Deficit Disorder and his firmly held belief in the connection between mind and body health. He has authored four books exploring topics including attention deficit disorder, stress, developmental psychology and addiction. He is a regular columnist for the Vancouver Sun and the Globe and Mail.

On Capitalism, Addiction and Recovery

Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them.

For twelve years Dr. Maté worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside with patients challenged by hard-core drug addiction, mental illness and HIV, including at Vancouver’s Supervised Injection Site. With over 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience and extensive knowledge of the latest findings of leading-edge research, Dr. Maté is a sought-after speaker and teacher, regularly addressing health professionals, educators, and lay audiences throughout North America.

As an author, Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction; When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress; and Scattered Minds: A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and co-authored Hold on to Your Kids. His works have been published internationally in twenty languages.

Dr. Maté is the co-founder of Compassion for Addiction, a non-profit that focusses on addiction. He is also an advisor of Drugs over Dinner.

Dr. Maté has received the Hubert Evans Prize for Literary Non-Fiction; an Honorary Degree (Law) from the University of Northern British Columbia; an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University; and the 2012 Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award from Mothers Against Teen Violence. He is an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.


Photo Shutterstock/nuvolanevicata


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Cannabis, Pregnancy And Breastfeeding Sat, 27 May 2017 01:44:55 +0000 What is the long medicinal history of cannabis in pregnancy and breastfeeding? What does the science say? Laurel Wilson, a 20 year veteran childbirth educator and lactation consultant, says the real “risk” is not supporting breastfeeding for informed mothers who choose natural medicines. Laurel Wilson, IBCLC, CLE, CCCE, CLD, the author of The Greatest Pregnancy […]]]>

What is the long medicinal history of cannabis in pregnancy and breastfeeding? What does the science say? Laurel Wilson, a 20 year veteran childbirth educator and lactation consultant, says the real “risk” is not supporting breastfeeding for informed mothers who choose natural medicines.

Laurel Wilson, IBCLC, CLE, CCCE, CLD, the author of The Greatest Pregnancy Ever and founder of MotherJourney, shares the history of cannabis use in pregnancy and breastfeeding as well as the known science and the current research. She outlines the issues surrounding mothers who are making a choice to use a more natural substance for health issues. Wilson lives in Colorado where the issues around pregnancy and breastfeeding are being actively explored by informed mothers and physicians.

Wilson is also the author of The Attachment Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Bonding with Your Baby. She is the former director of lactation programs at the world’s largest childbirth educator organization, CAPPA. She is also the author of the “Adderall and Weed” combined use guide at iSum, though doesn’t recommend mixing the two for pregnant mothers.

Kindred caught up with Wilson at the More Than Latch Conference in Portsmouth, VA, in February 2017.

Thanks to Keith Reagan Film for the footage,


Listen to an interview with Laurel Wilson and Tracy Peters Wilson, authors of The Greatest Pregnancy Ever and The Attachment Pregnancy here.


See Kindred’s Bookstore on Pregnancy, Birth and Breastfeeding

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Pregnancy and Birth Resources

Breastfeeding Resources

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Small Is Better Mon, 05 Sep 2016 19:51:58 +0000 When my children were babies, I worried about every cough and fever. I frantically thumbed through my dog-eared copy of How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor (a powerfully helpful book written by an iconoclast pediatrician dedicated to the empowerment of parents), and spent hours on the Internet to assuage my […]]]>

When my children were babies, I worried about every cough and fever. I frantically thumbed through my dog-eared copy of How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor (a powerfully helpful book written by an iconoclast pediatrician dedicated to the empowerment of parents), and spent hours on the Internet to assuage my anxiety. It was then I stumbled upon the miracle of homeopathy.

Homeopathy World 18 Homeopathic Remedy Starter Kit
Homeopathy World 18 Homeopathic Remedy Starter Kit

Precisely how homeopathic medicines work remains a mystery, and yet, nature is replete with mysteries and with numerous striking examples of the power of extremely small things. Packed into tiny sugar balls the size of cupcake sprinkles, this natural form of nanopharmocology dilutes remedies to the point where there may be no molecules of original substance left. The dilution, combined with rigorous shaking of the substance potentiates the remedy. This is called ‘ultramolecular’ dilution (in other words, way small).

To my delight, my children’s health improved dramatically more with these micro dosages, than with the heavier handed versions of conventional medicines. We are taught more is better, yet homeopathy reveals a radically different principal of physics that supports the view that small is powerful. Just look at the force released in an atomic bomb from smashing two atoms together.

When applied to personal development and organizational change, this principle holds true. Attempting to make positive changes through aiming for large fell swoop goals and achievements is not nearly as effective as making numerous very practical and achievable micro-moves towards an overall vision, calling or dream.

As a horsewoman, I’ve come to see that so many theories that work with eliciting real learning and collaboration for horses, work magically with their human counterparts. The brilliant horseman and trainer (as well as second degree aikido black belt), Mark Rashid, teaches how to ‘reward the try’, which rewards a horse in response to any of his ‘micro-tries’ towards the desired action.

“Because we are constantly looking for the big thing (the flawless lead change, the effortless transition, the sliding stop), we often look right past the most important part–the try that tells us our horse is understanding our request,” he writes.

The more sensitive one becomes to the smallest of tries towards the right thing, and the quicker one rewards those tries, the quicker and more solidly the horse learns and grows. It’s the same for us. The more respect we can give ourselves or each other for the ‘micro tries’, the quicker and more solidly we can grow.

My belief is that inside these micro-tries, no matter how small, is the most powerful of neurological rewards — success. From a neurological point of view (remember, we are talking small here) the bio-chemical stimulus of success is the same, whether it be a tiny success, or a huge one. But tiny ones are easy, and you can rack them up with much frequency. Which means you’ll grow and learn and thrive better, and faster!

For a lot of us, when we try to make big changes for the better, it’s too easy to get disheartened, cheat, and slide back into our old ways. Better to succeed in small ways, more often. A recent study by social psychologist Sung Hee Kim supports this idea. Kim advises undergraduate psychology majors at the University of Kentucky and has an interest in finding ways to help students follow good advice. To that end, she surveyed the various “micro” actions—those requiring little time, effort, or resources—that students engaged in that resulted in positive “macro” life changes.

Join Kindred's Founder, Kelly Wendorf, on a Parenting As A Hero's Journey Virtual Retreat!
Join Kindred’s Founder, Kelly Wendorf, on a Parenting As A Hero’s Journey Virtual Retreat!

Students recalled small actions, performed consistently, that they believed produced lasting, broader changes. The kind of micro actions ranged from getting up a bit earlier (10 minutes) in the morning, briefly reviewing course material, to writing down plans and assignments in a planner.

This principle of ‘small is better’ is the reason why, at the end of my sessions with clients I might ask, ‘What’s the one smallest thing you can do?’  I don’t ask for more than one, and I insist that it be as small as possible. Mostly I am met with incredulousness. Did they hear me correctly? Small? But aren’t changes meant to be big, monumental and life changing?

Another fine horseman, Warwick Schiller, reminds us to aim for only 1% improvement per day. ‘In 100 days, you’ve improved 100%,’ he says.

In one of his talks he recounts a story about his wife who suffers from panic attacks. She began working with cognitive behavioral therapy in hopes that it would help. As part of her treatment, every day she had to build her capacity to manage anxiety through creating micro moments of fear. She would sit down quietly, then summons an anxiety-creating trigger—only just enough to bring the anxiety on—and then sit quietly and breathe through that micro-trigger. Over time this created greater capacity to cope.

One day she and Warwick were taking a flight overseas. Warwick fell asleep. When he woke up, she exclaimed that she had had a panic attack, but was able to deal with it, and it went away quickly. They were both amazed that the simple act of practicing through tiny moments of anxiety, resulted in the ability to stop a panic attack on a plane, one of the most challenging places to have one.

The point being that she did not create this capacity by going on to many planes and dealing with the Super Bowl of anxiety producers. She achieved it through many very small successes.

The other day I stumbled into an app called YOU. It’s an app of small steps, micro-actions, to a ‘happier and healthier you’. I downloaded the app and was invited to do my first micro action – to take a moment, get present, look at my surroundings and capture the moment by taking a photo. Simple. Testimonials raving about the app include things like “It’s incredible how much has changed in the last months. Especially when it comes to self-love, leaving my comfort zone, ending procrastination, … or focusing on the right things.”

So, do you want to do something brilliant in the world? Do you want to be awesome, have bright, clear, loving relationships, and leave this world a better place? Start with something really tiny. What is one really small practical thing you can do today to make that happen?

Mark Rashid
Warwick Schiller
YOU app

Visit Kelly Wendorf for retreats and private mentoring at Equus…

Featured photo Shutterstock/Victor Saboya
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Why Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Is Right And Slate Magazine Is Out To Lunch Thu, 24 Jul 2014 03:39:49 +0000 Several months ago I received a call on my cell from a number I didn’t recognize. Usually I let such calls go to voice mail but for some reason I picked it up. A friendly raspy voice alleging to be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. requested to speak to me. At first I thought it was […]]]>


Several months ago I received a call on my cell from a number I didn’t recognize. Usually I let such calls go to voice mail but for some reason I picked it up. A friendly raspy voice alleging to be Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. requested to speak to me. At first I thought it was a hoax. But after a few seconds I recognized the voice from the Ring of Fire talk radio program and realized this was not a prank.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was calling to invite me to attend a high profile meeting that he had arranged with U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and officials from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss the continued use of thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative, in vaccines.

He also asked if I would be willing to read a research paper that he had commissioned reviewing the science regarding thimerosal, and to accompany him on a meeting with colleagues to call on select members of Congress for help.

I was more than glad to help out. I have spent the last 15 years of my life researching mercury. I have been involved in countless meetings with high levels officials at the CDC, the FDA, the NIH, and the HHS urging them to remove thimerosal from all medical products, including vaccines. I was honored to be a part of this effort and to work with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to protect other children from what happened to my son over 20 years ago.

My son’s story: poisoned by mercury

When he was born, my son weighed close to 9 lbs. He was a happy baby who ate and slept well, smiled, cooed, walked, and talked all by one year. But shortly after his first birthday, my son began to regress physically and developmentally, losing speech, eye contact, and social interactions. He no longer slept through the night and suddenly refused to eat foods that he had previously enjoyed, gagging and spitting them out. He started suffering bouts of bloody diarrhea.

My once active happy baby now only wanted to sit and watch Disney’s Fox and the Hound over and over for hours. After multiple evaluations he was initially diagnosed with a global receptive and expressive speech delay and later with autism.

I am a nurse. My husband is a doctor. We would have never made a correlation between our son’s illnesses and vaccines. But in July 1999 I read that a preservative, thimerosal, utilized in some infant vaccines actually contained 49.6% ethylmercury. According to a joint statement released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Public Health Service, the FDA had determined that:

“infants who received thimerosal-containing vaccines at several visits may be exposed to more mercury than recommended by Federal Guidelines for total mercury exposure.”

I quickly pulled out the thick file containing my son’s medical records.

My worst fears were confirmed.

All of my son’s early vaccines had contained thimerosal.

I also discovered that the injections that I received during the first and third trimesters of my pregnancy and hours after the delivery of my son to prevent RH blood incompatibility also contained high levels of thimerosal.

Mercury Poisoning and AutismMercury is one of the most toxic metals on earth and adverse health effects from mercury have been known for centuries. The symptoms of mercury poisoning can be highly variable based on the type of mercury, the exposure level, and the sensitivity of the individual exposed.

Developing fetuses, infants, and young children are the most vulnerable to harm from mercury, which interferes with development.

Research proves that even very low levels of exposure have adverse effects on language, attention, and memory, making children less able to think and learn. When you read this list of symptoms, it is easy for even the layperson to correlate that this environmental toxin has caused havoc with our children’s development starting in the late 80’s when the numbers of vaccines containing thimerosal and the epidemic of developmental disorders began to increase.

While acceptable levels for exposure are published by Federal Agencies, mercury is a poison at any level. The dose thought to be safely allowed on a daily basis by the EPA is 0.1mcg per kilogram of body weight per day.

At 2 months of age my son had received 62.5 mcg of mercury from 3 infant vaccines. According to EPA criteria, his allowable dose was only 0.5mcg. He received 125 times his allowable exposure on that one day!

These large injected bolus exposures continued at 4, 6, 12 and 18 months to total mercury exposure of 237.5 mcg the first year and a half of life. Knowing that the major effect of mercury compounds was neurotoxicity, I questioned if these exposures could account for my son’s regression and autism diagnosis.

READ: Why Is The American Media Failing To Tell Both Sides Of The Vaccine Story?
READ: Why Is The American Media Failing To Tell Both Sides Of The Vaccine Story?

Since my son was 5 ½ years old when I found out about his exposures to thimerosal, it would be difficult to know what his mercury levels had been at that time. I had remembered reading that hair was often utilized to determine heavy metal exposure, but that it would only reflect exposures at the time of growth. A current hair sample would not be reflective of an exposure that had occurred years earlier.

I had almost given up on finding an answer until I came across a lock of hair that we had saved from his first haircut at 20 months of age.

I sat staring at his beautiful brown locks, knowing I would have to part with them to answer this disturbing question. But I needed to know. With hesitation, but knowing it was for the best, I packed and shipped them off to the lab.

The testing detected 4.8 ppm mercury in his hair. According to the EPA, the allowable levels for mercury in hair is less than 1 ppm and anything above 1 ppm is considered an action level that demands immediate attention to reduce any further exposure. My son’s levels were five times above the action level and that sample of hair did not even reflect his early exposures the first six months of life because he has lost all his baby hair at 6 months. Since my son had never eaten fish or seafood nor had dental amalgams, I had no other identifiable source for his mercury levels outside of thimerosal exposure from vaccines and my Rho D injections during and after pregnancy.

As a nurse and a member of the Board of Health for our county, I felt an urgency to share my concerns about thimerosal with other professionals. I researched, made phone calls, wrote letters, and presented data on elevated levels of mercury in many other children with developmental delays who were also exposed to thimerosal in their vaccines. In 1999, I met several other parents who shared the same concerns about the use of mercury in medical products. Together we wrote a landmark paper linking the symptoms of mercury poisoning to autism.

We’ve been asking the government to get mercury out of vaccines for the last 14 years


In 2000, we formed the non-profit organization SafeMinds. We testified before Congress about the unnecessary exposure to mercury that a generation of children had received from thimerosal-containing vaccines; we shared the scientific evidence linking mercury toxicity to the symptoms of autism spectrum disorders. SafeMinds was also instrumental in the development of a Congressional report, “Mercury in Medicine: Are We Taking Unnecessary Risks?

SafeMinds founders and numerous scientists met with officials from the FDA voicing our concerns about thimerosal.

We requested FDA to recall all thimerosal containing vaccines numerous times (20002001).

We had meetings with the CDC asking them to state a preference for thimerosal-free vaccines and  authored a letter along with multiple national organizations requesting that the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices state a preference for thimerosal-free vaccines for pregnant women, infants and children as recommended by the Institute of Medicine in their October 2001 Immunization Safety Review on “Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorders”.

We met numerous times with the National Institutes for Health asking that they begin conducting research on the toxicity of thimerosal and neurodevelopmental impacts.

The meetings that I have attended over the past 14 years were not unlike the meeting that took place on April 9th, 2014 with high officials representing the HHS, the FDA, and the CDC that I attended with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mark Hyman, M.D. Though this Washington Post article detailing Kennedy’s efforts makes no mention of me, yes, I was there.

Lyn Redwood and Robert Kennedy Jr.I met with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, Mark Hyman, MD, and government officials

At the meeting, Kennedy and Hyman voiced their concerns about the continued use of thimerosal in vaccines. They presented reams of scientific research, research that Laura Helmuth at Slate Magazine ignorantly and wrongly asserts does not exist. I added additional information that I have gathered over the years:

  • The introduction of thimerosal into vaccines was based on a single, uncontrolled, and poorly reported human study in the late 1920s. This sole human study was not a true safety study and produced a faulty foundation upon which to build a robust vaccine program where infants would receive multiple doses of ethylmercury repeatedly the first year of life.
  • There have been several incidents of contamination of vaccines that contained thimerosal, which suggests it is not as effective a preservative as it has been marketed to be. In fact, the FDA removed thimerosal from over-the-counter products years ago due to concerns regarding effectiveness and safety.
  • In addition to its known toxic properties, levels of mercury documented in infants after exposure to thimerosal-containing vaccines have been shown to reach levels classified by the CDC as a case of mercury chemical poisoning.
  • Monkey studies have shown that the mercury in thimerosal does indeed cross the blood brain barrier and results in significant deposition of inorganic mercury in the brain. Research has documented that inorganic mercury becomes trapped in the brain (the estimated half-life is over 700 days).
  • 80 years after the introduction of thimerosal into vaccines, we have hundreds of studies proving the toxicity of thimerosal, but still do not have adequate safety data with regard to using thimerosal in vaccines.
  • The only time the data was analyzed correctly looking at completely vaccinated cohort of children getting vaccines containing thimerosal versus children who had received vaccines without thimerosal was by the CDC’s Thomas Verstraten in 1999which found associations between exposure to vaccines and a host of adverse neurological disorders including ADD/ADHD, speech and language delays, neurodevelopmental delays in general and autism.

During the Kennedy meeting at HHS, one HHS official remarked that vaccines without thimerosal were not as effective as those with thimerosal, which was an interesting comment. What the official was actually acknowledging was that thimerosal was capable of increasing the immune response, which means this mercury-based preservative is also being used as an adjuvant agent in vaccines for which it is not licensed.

Although HHS officials were quick to point out that thimerosal is only being used in flu vaccines, flu vaccines are now recommended for all pregnant women during any trimester of pregnancy (even the first trimester) and twice during an infant’s first year of life, and then annually thereafter. These new recommendations to give flu vaccines during pregnancy means that infants are now being exposed to mercury prenatally during even more critical windows of development. Exposures to mercury during these critical periods of development can disrupt the growth and migration of neurons, with the potential to cause irreversible damage to the central nervous system.  The FDA recommends that pregnant women avoid seafood that is known to be high in mercury but urges these same pregnant women to get a mercury-containing flu vaccine, which is completely illogical,especially since the EPA estimates that one in every six women already have levels of mercury in their bodies that could cause neurological harm to their unborn children.

Flu vaccines are not the only source of exposure to thimerosal. According to the CDC’s own materials, thimerosal is still present in other vaccine formulations, including tetanus and meningitis.

And, according to the FDA website, several other mercury based preservatives, in addition to thimerosal, are still being widely used in over 100 other medications including ear and nose drops, nasal sprays, lotions, ointments and even injectable testosterone preparations.

The federal officials listened patiently to Kennedy as they have in other meetings before and promised to look into the issue further. But like all of our previous meetings, that was it.

There has been no formal response indicating that our Federal agencies plan to finally remove mercury from medical products.

The mercury is still in the vaccines, our government is still failing us, Kennedy’s new book details how

Having attended these meeting and witnessed firsthand the passion and resolve that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has to protect our children from unnecessary harm from mercury, I feel optimistic that if anyone can get the government to pay attention to how we are harming our children, he can. But he needs our help.

What our federal agencies fail to understand, outside of the hundreds of scientific articles that document harm from thimerosal, is the fact that by not stating a preference for thimerosal-free vaccines, they are only further eroding the trust of the American public when it comes to vaccine safety issues.

Many of the documents that were presented to our Federal agencies during the meeting in April are now being made available to the public in Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Mark Hyman, M.D.’s new book Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: Mercury Toxicity in Vaccines and the Political, Regulatory, and Media Failures That Continue to Threaten Public Health, which will be released on August 4, 2014.

Kennedy is not making any profits off of this book. He’s also not making himself any friends, as you can see from this article and this one excoriating him.

This is not about money or personal gain. This is about the health and welfare of our children.

Once we figured out that my son had been poisoned by mercury, we were able to work on getting get it out of his system. It took years of treatment, which included identifying and treating the myriad of underlying medical problems caused by mercury, and detoxification therapy to help his body excrete the mercury bound in his tissues. You would never know it now if you met him today that at age five he could barely speak, had no eye contact, was incredible sensitive to light and sound, and had no feeling in his fingertips. He’s in college now and on the Dean’s list!


We need everyone who is a parent, grandparent, or soon to be parent to read Kennedy and Hyman’s new book in order to better understand the issue and to educate yourself about the dangers of mercury.

Buy a second copy to share with a friend, donate to your local library, or give to your elected officials to spread the word.)

When you talk with your representatives, please encourage them to pass legislation mandating the removal of mercury from all medical products and to put an end to this madness once and for all.

And, finally, we need you to be savvy consumers and to just say no to any medical products, including vaccines, which contain mercury. I’ll be writing more about what you need to know about mercury in prescription drugs in the coming weeks, so check back soon.

The pharmaceutical industry must heed our call. The government must start paying attention and start protecting our children. This should be a no-brainer. How could anyone possibly justify injecting mercury into a pregnant woman or small children?

It’s time for the government to do its job. We need to stop putting poison in our children. 


Photo: Shutterstock/Evgeny Atamanenko

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Ibuprofen Kills Thousands Each Year, So What Is The Alternative? Sat, 08 Jun 2013 15:44:15 +0000 A recent HMHB article opened with the following stunning sentence: “Long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is ‘equally hazardous’ in terms of heart attack risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said.” The 2004 Vioxx recall, as you may remember, was spurred […]]]>

A recent HMHB article opened with the following stunning sentence:

“Long-term high-dose use of painkillers such as ibuprofen or diclofenac is ‘equally hazardous’ in terms of heart attack risk as use of the drug Vioxx, which was withdrawn due to its potential dangers, researchers said.”

The 2004 Vioxx recall, as you may remember, was spurred by the nearly 30,000 excess cases of heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths caused by the drug between 1999-2003. Despite the fact that scientific research had accumulated as early as 2000 linking Vioxx to increased heart attacks and strokes, the drug’s manufacturer Merck, and the FDA, remained silent as the death toll steadily increased.

The Reuters report focused on new research published in Lancet indicating the risk of heart attack increases as much as a third and the risk of heart failure doubles among heavier users of NSAID drugs.

INFLAMED: Our Default Bodily State

Why are so many folks taking NSAID drugs like ibuprofen anyway?

Pain and unhealthy levels of inflammation are fast becoming default bodily states in the industrialized world. While in most cases we can adjust the underlying pro-inflammatory conditions by altering our diet, and reducing stress and environmental chemical exposures, these approaches take time, discipline and energy, and sometimes we just want the pain to stop now. In those often compulsive moments we find ourselves popping an over-the-counter pill to kill the pain.

The problem with this approach is that, if we do it often enough, we may kill ourselves along with the pain…

Ibuprofen really is a perfect example of this. As mentioned above, this petrochemical-derivative has been linked to significantly increased risk of heart attack and increased cardiac and all-cause mortality (when combined with aspirin), with over two dozen serious adverse health effects, including:

DNA Damage[2]
Hearing Loss[3]
Influenza Mortality[5]

Ibuprofen is, in fact, not unique in elevating cardiovascular disease risk and/or mortality. The entire category of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) appears to have this under-recognized dark side; cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality score highest on the list of over 100 unintended adverse health effects associated with their use. See also our analysis of the rarely acknowledged dark side to aspirin: The Evidence Against Aspirin And For Natural Alternatives.

So, what does one do? Pain is pain. Whether it happens to you, or you witness it in another (which can be worse), finding relief is a top priority.

Research on Natural Alternatives To Ibuprofen

Here is some evidence-based research on alternatives to ibuprofen, sourced from the National Library of Medicine:

Ginger – A 2009 study found that ginger capsules (250 mg, four times daily) were as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle (primary dysmenorrhea). [7]

Topical Arnica – A 2007 human study found that topical treatment with arnica was as effective as ibuprofen for hand osteoarthritis, but with lower incidence of side effects.[8]

Combination: Astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba and Vitamin C – A 2011 animal study found this combination to be equal to or better than ibuprofen for reducing asthma-associated respiratory inflammation.[9]

Chinese Skullcap (baicalin) – A 2003 animal study found that a compound in Chinese skullcap known as baicalin was equipotent to ibuprofen in reducing pain.[10]

Omega-3 fatty acids: A 2006 human study found that omega-3 fatty acids (between 1200-2400 mg daily) were as effective as ibuprofen in reducing arthritis pain, but with the added benefit of having less side effects.[11]

Panax Ginseng – A 2008 animal study found that panax ginseng had analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity similar to ibuprofen, indicating its possible anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties.[12]

St. John’s Wort – A 2004 animal study found that St. John’s wort was twice as effective as ibuprofen as a pain-killer.[13]

Anthrocyanins from Sweet Cherries & Raspberries – A 2001 study cell study found that anthrocyanins extracted from raspberries and sweet cherries were as effective as ibuprofen and naproxen at suppressing the inflammation-associated enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 and 2.[14]

Holy Basil – A 2000 study found that holy basil contains compounds with anti-inflammatory activity comparable to ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin.[15]

Olive Oil (oleocanthal) – a compound found within olive oil known as oleocanthal has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties similar to ibuprofen.[16]

There are, of course, hundreds of additional substances which have been studied for their pain-killing and/or anti-inflammatory effects, and there are also aromatherapeutic approaches that do not require the ingestion of anything at all, but there is also a danger here. When we think of taking an alternative pain-killer to ibuprofen, we are still thinking within the palliative, allopathic medical model: suppress the symptom, and go on about our business. It would behoove us to look deeper into what is causing our pain. And when possible, remove the cause(s). And that often requires a dramatic dietary shift away from pro-inflammatory foods, many of which most Westerners still consider absolutely delightful, e.g. wheat, dairy, nighshade vegetables and even wheat-free grains, etc.


[1] Direct cytotoxicity of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in acidic media: model study on human erythrocytes with DIDS-inhibited anion exchanger. Pharmazie. 2002 Dec;57(12):848-51. PMID: 12561250

[2] Genotoxicity of ibuprofen in mouse bone marrow cells in vivo. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2012 Jan 27. Epub 2012 Jan 27. PMID: 22283434

[3] Analgesic use and the risk of hearing loss in men. Am J Med. 2010 Mar;123(3):231-7. PMID: 20193831

[4] Effect on blood pressure of lumiracoxib versus ibuprofen in patients with osteoarthritis and controlled hypertension: a randomized trial. J Hypertens. 2008 Aug;26(8):1695-702. PMID: 18622250

[5] The effect on mortality of antipyretics in the treatment of influenza infection: systematic review and meta-analysis. J R Soc Med. 2010 Oct;103(10):403-11. PMID: 20929891

[6] Taking non-aspirin NSAIDs in early pregnancy doubles risk of miscarriage, study shows. BMJ. 2011 ;343:d5769. Epub 2011 Sep 9. PMID: 21908536

[7] Comparison of effects of ginger, mefenamic acid, and ibuprofen on pain in women with primary dysmenorrhea. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Feb 13. PMID: 19216660

[8] Choosing between NSAID and arnica for topical treatment of hand osteoarthritis in a randomised, double-blind study. Rheumatol Int. 2007 Apr;27(6):585-91. Epub 2007 Feb 22. PMID: 17318618

[9] Summative interaction between astaxanthin, Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761) and vitamin C in suppression of respiratory inflammation: a comparison with ibuprofen. Phytother Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):128-36. PMID: 20632299

[10] The antiinflammatory and analgesic effects of baicalin in carrageenan-evoked thermal hyperalgesia. Anesth Analg. 2003 Dec;97(6):1724-9. PMID: 14633550

[11] Omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) as an anti-inflammatory: an alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for discogenic pain. Surg Neurol. 2006 Apr;65(4):326-31. PMID: 16531187

[12] Potential analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Panax ginseng head butanolic fraction in animals. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Dec;46(12):3749-52. Epub 2008 Oct 1. PMID: 18930781

[13] Antinociceptive activity of methanolic extracts of St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) preparation. Pak J Pharm Sci. 2004 Jul;17(2):13-9. PMID: 16414593

[14] Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in cherries and berries. Phytomedicine. 2001 Sep;8(5):362-9. PMID: 11695879

[15] Antioxidant and cyclooxygenase inhibitory phenolic compounds from Ocimum sanctum Linn. Phytomedicine. 2000 Mar;7(1):7-13. PMID: 10782484

[16] Molecular mechanisms of inflammation. Anti-inflammatory benefits of virgin olive oil and the phenolic compound oleocanthal. Curr Pharm Des. 2011 ;17(8):754-68. PMID: 21443487

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What Our Child’s Behaviour Teaches Us About Ourself! Fri, 29 Mar 2013 00:54:04 +0000 Have you ever found yourself wondering where the child you once knew went? One day your child can make a decision and the next day they won’t. Or one day they can tell you what they want for breakfast and the next day they can’t? Have you ever wondered why this behavior suddenly came about? […]]]>

Have you ever found yourself wondering where the child you once knew went? One day your child can make a decision and the next day they won’t. Or one day they can tell you what they want for breakfast and the next day they can’t? Have you ever wondered why this behavior suddenly came about? Perhaps you’re putting it down to growing and maturing in some way. What if I said there could be a missing link within your family dynamic that might be being over looked… would you want to dig in a little deeper to investigate? Yes?

Well first let me give this missing link some context for you and then I’ll share an example from my own life to help illustrate my point. Suppression of an emotion shuts down that specific communication link with the self.  For example let’s take indecision as the emotion that we are suppressing. When suppressed we are left unable to make a decision; a fairly obvious example.

The suppressed emotion, although not being expressed by the self, will be expressed somewhere.

This expression usually occurs three ways:

  1. Within our body – signs, symptoms, dis-ease, disease
  2. Via a person
  3. At times both 1 & 2

It is the second point, ‘via a person’, where I want to dive in deeper using this example of indecision. The expression of the suppressed emotion is usually so close to us that we do not see ourselves suppressing an emotion but rather we see another person expressing an emotion not common to them e.g. being unable to make a decision. More often we wonder why an adult or child is like “x” and set about doing everything we can to control it. This need for control can be emphasized through parenting in particular ways or via medications administered to “mellow” out the behaviour! Quite often however we do not look at our family dynamic to see who might be the one expressing our own suppressed emotion.

Let me share this example with you to make the point a little clearer…

When I had finished writing my award winning and global selling book The Vital Truth a publisher in the USA was looking at picking it up for circulation and publishing. It did take long for them to agree to going ahead. During one conversation they explained to me how they would market the book.  As I listened I thought this is not the way I want the book brought to the public and if it is marketed this way it will completely go against what the book is about.  They gave me four weeks to make up my mind, in other words to sign and agree to their terms of circulation and publishing. I agonised for the full four weeks.  During this time making a decision was one of the hardest things I had to do. On one side there was a lucrative enticement and on the other side was my moral responsibility to speak the truth about health and have it marketed as such. As a person who can usually make a decision in a snap I found myself extremely challenged with making up my mind.

What was interesting, however was what occurred within the family during this four weeks…

I felt like I was taking my time to make the decision, slowly absorbing all the different options. Our middle boy who can usually make a decision in a snap, just like me, became quite indecisive. This is usually a child who knows what he wants to eat, makes smart health decisions, knows when he wants to go to the toilet, knows when he is tired etc. Suddenly he could no long make those decisions. Once a young child with direction seemed, at the time, to be floating along not knowing what he wanted. As a mum I began to get frustrated that his clear decisive self had drifted off. It wasn’t until week four of my own indecisiveness that I saw a pattern being played out in the family – between him and I. I awoke on the last day of the fourth week that the publisher had given me to make my decision. I went upstairs to my office rang the publishing company told them I wouldn’t be going ahead and then came back downstairs with a pep in my step and a calmness within myself for having made the decision. As I went to organise breakfast for the kids out comes our middle boy still in his pyjamas, rubbing his eyes asking for yoghurt and fruit. I turned and looked at him as if he was a different child.

And then the lesson came…what gets suppressed gets expressed!

During the four weeks when I couldn’t make a decision the person who most resembled me at the time was the one that showed up to demonstrate what I needed to learn.  Here was our middle boy, who can usually make a decision, like me, who was suddenly not making decisions, reflecting me! As soon as I made a decision about the publishing company our personalities resurfaced. I saw him once again as a person who could make a decision. Remarkable how our lessons come to pass if we are open to learning and seeing the symbiotic relationship we have with one another within our family.

Here are some steps you can take to assist with indentifying the suppression/expression behaviour within your family:

  1. Grab a few pieces of blank paper.
  2. On the piece of paper write all the characteristics, traits or emotions you see your child doing that irritates, frustrates or annoys you.
  3. Take one of the characteristics, traits or emotions and write it at the top of one of the blank pieces of paper.
  4. Ask yourself “where am I doing that exact same thing in my life” and remember it can be expressing anywhere within your life.

Take the example of our middle boy and I once again…

I saw his indecisive being expressed in the familial area of my life, my indecisiveness however was being expressed in my vocational area of life; my work.  So the expression of your suppression is not always in the area or your life where you “see it” expressing in someone else. The person that best resembles you is the person who shows up at the time and that can be in any of the seven areas of life – spiritual, mental, vocational, financial, familial, social or physical. Our middle boy resembles me in everyday life with his decisiveness so of course he was the one that showed up to give me the lesson to assist me with making my decision about the publishing company! Perfect.


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