Heather Boerner

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Freelance health writer Heather Boerner writes about green lifestyles and earth-friendly consumer habits. Find what you’re looking for faster searching the site.

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“Positively Healing: Yoga helps HIV patients strengthen their immune systems and their spirits”
Yoga Journal, 06.09
Ken Lowstetter considers it nothing short of miraculous that he has lived nearly half of his 48 years with HIV when many of his friends who also had the human immunodeficiency virus have died from AIDS. When he received his diagnosis in 1985, he didn’t think he’d last the year. After he progressed to AIDS, the late stage of the HIV disease, in 1995, he had to adjust to having less energy and new health risks, but he remained optimistic. He attributes his longevity and hopeful attitude to a combination of antiretroviral medications and his 15-year yoga practice, which relies heavily on poses such as Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) and Matsyasana (Fish Pose).
When Lowstetter, who lives in Palm Springs, California, lost a lung in 2002 to lymphoma—a cancer that may have been related to the HIV—he used yogic breathing, or pranayama, to build his remaining lung’s capacity. And when he subsequently became physically weak and developed peripheral neuropathy, a numbness and inflammation of the extremities that can be caused by antiretroviral medication, yoga provided a gentle way for him to remain active.
Despite the health complications he’s experienced along the way, Lowstetter feels good and remains hopeful. And he says that yoga plays a huge role in this. “Drugs, I believe, are keeping me alive. But yoga,” he says, “keeps my spirit alive.”
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Complementary and Alternative Medicine: What’s working and what’s ahead”
HealthJournalism.org, 05.09
Naturopathic physician Jane Guiltinan, clinical professor at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health and member of the board of trustees at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, had been talking for just a minute when a question came from the standing-room-only crowd:
“Is it really accurate to call you a physician?” blurted the man. “You can’t prescribe or do surgery, can you?”
For the record, Guiltinan said, her license from the state of Washington gives her the authority to prescribe most medications and to do small in-office procedures such as wart and skin tag removal. But it was a telling question at the Health Journalism 2009 panel “Complementary and Alternative Medicine: What’s working and what’s ahead,” where naturopathic and Western medical doctors met journalistic skeptics and true believers to discuss the science and scams that mix in the growing alternative medicine market.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Creative Vacations: Don’t let the downturn tie you down”
LIME.com/Common Ground, 05.09
Doesn’t it just seem sometimes like the time you most need a vacation is when you can least afford to take one?
If you’re one of the thousands of Americans curtailing travel plans to save some extra money, the travelers you’ll read about here have one question for you: What if you could cut costs and do something good for the planet and your community?
It turns out that it’s not only possible but a great way to avoid the tourist traps and really get your hands dirty doing something good for others. And because few of these trips involve staying in environmentally wasteful hotels, the carbon footprint of many trips is next to nil.
Check out these new ways to travel and ways to get involved.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

"Confessions of a Reformed Worry Wart”
Whole Life Times/Common Ground/GAIA.com, 04.09
As a child in suburban southern California, I used to lie in bed with the covers pulled up to my chin, wide-eyed, listening intently as fighter jets practiced nighttime maneuvers at the nearby Air Force base. I’d done the calculations and was convinced: given our proximity to a military target, my small town would be among the first blown off the map when Russia attacked.
I still remember my body tensing with each swoop and tear overhead. My attempts to coax myself to sleep were hopeless. I was an eight-year-old insomniac.
Decades later, I have outgrown the sleepless nights, but I remain suspicious that all of this — our cushy lives, our modern amenities — could be snatched away in an instant. In quiet moments, I tick off a list of the essential life skills I lack, I inventory the ways I am dependent on so many others for my continued wellbeing. The daughter of a woman with both a serious pioneer spirit and intense anxiety, I’m always waiting for the bottom to fall out.
With the economy in tatters and our planet getting steamier by the day, you’d think I might be one of those people squirreling away bottled water and canned food, planning a Transition Town or preparing for 2012, the end date of the Mayan calendar that predicts major societal shifts. But I’m not. Here’s why.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Think About It: Meditation can help your brain work more efficiently”
Yoga Journal, 03.09
Sitting in meditation can be challenging. You might feel anxious to get back to your busy day. Your mind wanders. Your foot falls asleep. But consider this: A regular meditation practice can make your brain work better.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Union Made: Strengthen your relationship with partner yoga”
Yoga Journal, 02.09
A study in the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy by Jim Carson, a clinical psychologist and meditation teacher, and his wife, Kimberly Carson, a yoga therapist, suggests that couples who practice partner yoga are more content with each other and report more joyful sex lives.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Prefab 2.0: Is prefab housing ready for primetime?”
Conscious Choice, New Life Times, Common Ground, 09.08
Judging by magazines, museums and word of mouth, you might think we were in a prefab housing Golden Age.
You’d be wrong — but not by much. Yes, prefab housing is getting more attention than it has for decades. And yes, beautiful prefab homes are on display at museums and design exhibitions. But just because they’ve built them doesn’t mean homeowners are coming in droves. Instead, only about 100 homeowners live in prefab homes in the U.S., says Joseph Tanney, architect with Resolution: 4 Architecture, the NYC firm which designed the Dwell House, a custom prefab originally built for a Dwell magazine design competition.
To find out just who’s living in prefab today, we talked to homeowners Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and New York. All hoped prefab would be the design, construction and green solution for them. Was it? Read on.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“By the Numbers: Does it really make green sense to move close to work?”
Cyberhomes.com, 07.16.08
When B.L. Lindstrom bought his Phoenix-area home in 2004, his goal was simple. He wanted to walk to work and eliminate interminable and frustrating hours on the road. That meant a $400,000 price tag in Chandler instead of $200,000 to buy 30 miles away.
Now, with gas prices at all-time highs and house values plummeting in some Phoenix suburbs, it may be one of the smartest financial decisions Lindstrom has ever made.
“The increase in the price of gas and traffic, and the ability of my home to hold its value when the outlying areas are seeing their home values drop — all of it makes me look like a genius,” he said. “Today, living near work makes extreme green sense in both the economic and environment interpretations.”
If you’re feeling the pinch as gas prices approach $5 a gallon in some regions and a lengthy commute has grown old, you may be wondering if such a move might work for you.
Download a PDF of this article here.

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