Wood Heat: A Special Kind of Comfort

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

CARLSON-WOOD-HEAT-JAN-2012 “We sit by the fire and speak softly,

While the wind blows, and the rain
Lashes against the windows
The lights flicker and are gone,
The storm grows worse….
We sit quietly watching the fire,
It hisses as the rain comes down the chimney,
The lights come back,
The storm grows worse.
The wind whirls around the roof….
Daylight comes, the clouds are gone.
The sun is shining.”
Hurricane Bob, by Mary Hoxie Jones, 1991; in
Tracing the Rainbow, Manchester Ctr, VT, 1995.

Veggetize Meals and Snacks

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

carlson-march-2012Adding fiber- and flavor-rich fresh veggies lets you enjoy favorite foods, while educating your family's palates and habits towards healthier fare.

This month, families are encouraged to implement healthier eating habits. "Eat more fresh vegetables," has become an organizing focus for me to keep upgrading my nutrition. Eating more vegetables will unequivocally boost your family's nutrition. Here are some ideas to inspire your journey towards a healthier lifestyle and a more attractive physique.

Pet Massage

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D. (Hon.).

Rubbing, scrubbing, scratching, brushing, petting, patting your dog, cat, hamster, horse, sheep, parakeet, cockatiel, chicken, iguana, snake or turtle is a feel good time for both of you. Beyond that, much has been researched and published about therapeutic benefits interacting with a "companion animal."

I've felt exhilarated swimming with a dolphin holding its dorsal fin at a Key Largo rescue center, observed the deLIGHTING of nursing home residents and staff when pets visited, and have seen physically challenged children transform astride a gentle horse.

Drink More Water

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D. (Hon.).

Drink More Water

Winter dehydration has greater consequences than just dry skin. It may also be the source of your seasonal blues and flues.   

“Drink at least one quart of pure water a day” was one of the first self-health assignments for students in my holistic practitioner classes.  Over 30 years and more than 12,000 reports from 600 students, along with my professional observations, and I can say quite confidently that drinking pure water has miraculous healing effect.

Brush Away the Old Make Way for the New

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

Our month of May gleams with renewal.  Fluorescent green continues to sprout from rich, dark earth after a restful winter and chilly spring.   Flowers blossom little and large, brilliant and aromatic to seduce pollinating insects—an ingenious strategy to enhance a future for all of us.  What a spectacle.   Do you ever marvel at Nature’s seasonal cycles of soughing off the old for the new to emerge?  I’ve witnessed this spring rebirth 64 times, and continue to be delighted with surprises brand new to my awareness.

Another Fabulous Growth Opportunity

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

Spring Flowers

Spring into joyful celebration of change.

What an exciting season.  Mother Nature dazzles every one of my senses in Her spectacular performance of rebirth and renewal.  Last month’s little green nubs are today’s kaleidoscopic tulips and golden daffodils.  The delicious aroma of freshly mowed grass inspires me to pause for some really deep breaths.  Barefoot stepping over lush, cool moss not only delights my feet, but also brightens my already good mood.  Songbirds serenade me into wakefulness each morning like those endearing opening scenes of Walt Disney’s Cinderella.  The exquisite taste and crunchy texture of the first fresh-picked asparagus from the garden is irresistible.   

Strengthening Faith in a Higher Power if you have one. Finding one if you don’t

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D.

Whether you’re among the 86% of polled Americans who favor retaining “In God We Trust” on currency, or the 14% that want it deleted, here’s some down to earth encouragement to get help for living well from a powerful higher resource.  Whether you are religious, agnostic or atheist, believing in and utilizing some power greater than one’s mortal self is a topic worth exploration during these challenging times.  It’s an enduring investment with guaranteed dividends.

Use Your Hands to Heal

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

Touch + Intention + Attention = Healing

You have used your hands for a myriad of tasks today, but most likely none of them have involved healing.  That’s about to change.  It is both simple and easy to transmit healing energy using the very hands that zip up your jacket, open doors, hold a phone or hand over a credit card.  

Touch is a powerful catalyst for healing energy. 

Put this magazine down for a minute, and place your palms and fingers lightly together in the classic prayer position ~ not to pray, but just to feel.  Focus on their temperature for a moment.  Relax a bit.  Maybe take a satisfyingly full breath.  Be present with your experience.  Is there even the slightest shift in temperature?  Now concentrate on sensations shared by those hands.  A slight pulsation perhaps.  Any buzzing, humming or prickles?  Be patient.  Pay attention.

Rest Refreshingly

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

“Take rest; a field that has rested gives a beautiful crop.” OVID, Roman Poet, 43 B.C. – 17 A.D.

       When was the last time you experienced a deliciously refreshing night’s sleep?  Or a deeply restful hour with loved ones.  Or a quiet moment of solitude relaxing into your spiritual self?  If you need to look beyond the past 24 hours for the answers, let me help you rest right now.   

Inner Activity Creates Outer Activity

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

World class athletes use holistic visualization to enhance learning and performance, and you can, too. Here's proof.  Recall--as vividly as you can--holding a fresh lemon in your hand.  "Feel" its weight.  Imagine tossing it in the air.  "Hear" it land in your palm.  "Examine" the knobbly texture and colors of the rind. "Hold" it close to your nose.  "Smell" the aroma of pure lemon oil.  Imagine lifting a knife and halving it.  "Pick up" half and look at the little sacks of juice.  "Squeeze" it slightly and "lick" the juice.

Tah dahhhh! Your salivary glands respond like you really licked a lemon! And that puckery feeling at the sides of your throat is equally real.

Value Your Smart Body

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

“Every cell is a little sentient being.” ~ Deepak Chopra, MD


Grasping that half-gallon carton of juice to lift it out of the refrigerator, my hand launches up like a rocket because the carton purchased yesterday is practically empty.  Nerves, bones and muscles involved in the maneuver had geared up for the weight of a full carton.  Yes, a miscalculation, but the prefix doesn’t negate the fact that some calculation did indeed take place.  Who made that calculation?  My intellect was occupied with the ominous dark cloud filling the sky above my laundry on the clothesline.


Giving Thanks

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

An attitude of gratitude is a valuable holistic tool.
      Dancing joyfully between your life’s mission and your daily tasks, the big picture and the details, your long-range aspirations and recycling your trash is one way to describe holistic living.   When I’m in that holistic zone, I’m feeling really good, dancing inside like Snoopy’s best cartoon
jig.  Then there are those times when I’ve morphed into a Velcro ping-pong ball on a Velcro table: stuck, stuck, stuck.  Doesn’t matter whether it’s the big picture or the little, stuck is characterized by frustration, or angst, or despair, or ___________. (I invite you to fill in your “favorite.”  Seriously, why not grab a pen right now and get personal?  Moving muscles demonstrates willingness, which in turn opens new nerve pathways for new thought patterns.)

Menopause Meets Motorcycle

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

Menopause Meets Motorcycle

Just what does “holistic” mean?

Let’s postpone this “what” question, and start out with questioning “why” even explore this topic?  Answer: to learn something valuable you can easily apply for Living Well.  Whether the value is simply considering a new perspective or whether it’s cultivating a new habit, you will experience direct benefits from applying it.  These benefits build and grow and sculpt your being, and consequently your life, for the former inspires the latter.  


Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

      Celebrate! Maintaining Health and Weight
      Balancing feasting with fasting is my secret for ebulliently enjoying holiday festivities to the max.  (I’ve heard, however, there are more restrained levels of holiday enjoyment.  Choose what suits you.) Yes, I can party hearty with a free conscience and keep my svelte physique.  And you can, too.  Here are the details for you to emulate or adapt respecting your personal physical condition to boost your holiday pleasure without diminishing your health or adding inches to your waistline.

Grow a Plant

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

“We urgently need to find practical ways of reestablishing our conscious sense of connection with living nature.”  RUPERT SHELDRAKE, one of the world’s foremost biologists

Tending a simple little plant can be a doorway to enchantment in your everyday life.  Nature’s rhythmical entrance into the season of rebirth is a perfect time to align with the physical and mystical energies of rejuvenation.  Whatever state you may perceive your life to be in right now, you can experience the thrill of a new beginning just by tending a new, simple little plant.  Synchronize with natural forces and proceed without doing any research.  Just follow your intuition.

Amplify Those Good Feelings

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

Power Wash Your Energy Field!
You surely know that feeling good generates healing chemicals and activities in your body.  You might know that the law of attraction brings us more of what we’re feeling.  But do you know that positive emotions cleanse your aura?  Energy flows into us clean and clear, and it outflows as emotions.  When your emotion is positive, the flow of that energy “power washes” your portals.  When your emotion is negative it carries all kinds of sludge and debris that clogs up your field.

Holistic Summer Health Upgrade

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

Longer days, abundant local produce, and outdoor activities make summer time a great opportunity to joyously upgrade your health. It can be easy. It can be fun. It can be lasting.

Tiny improvements in health habits accumulate into huge benefits over the years, like a penny doubled every day. Involving family and/or a few friends to formulate their individual choices for an upgrade creates a contagious momentum. Do more of the healthy things you love rather than forcing yourself to struggle towards some idealistic “should.” (Don’t should on yourself!)

Speak in First Person Singular

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

“Nobody can be exactly like me.  Sometimes even I have trouble doing it.” - Tallulah Bankhead, 40’s Film Star
Are you still in school “daze,” now that all the paraphernalia has been wrestled into a dorm cubicle?  Or now that sending your baby off to kindergarten just tugs at your heartstrings rather than breaks them?  I’ve been beaming healing energy to all of you ~ from preschool to college, students and families.  Such a big transition! 

Healthify Summer Fun

Written by Karen Verna Carlson, N.D., Ph.D..

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)

The symphonic cicadas are an audio background while the sound studio in my mind plays that old tune, “It’s summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime….”   I LOVE THIS SEASON!   Fun opportunities abound ~ from a simple lunchtime picnic during a busy workweek to a sublime summer at the shore.  Mother Nature entices us to savor the outdoors, to stroll the neighborhood on a cool evening, to chill around the pool on the doggiest of days. 

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