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Meaningful Giving
December 2011

Tips to Simplify the Season

homemade_gift'Tis the season, and a U.S. poll by Harris Interactive reveals that a majority of the stress 90 percent of us feel about the holidays is related to gift-giving. So, solving this problem will set us well on our way to ajoyeux noël. The same study found that given a choice, most of us prefer investing in good family relationships instead of more material things, anyway.

Natural Awakenings has uncovered four ways that we can make the holidays less hectic and more relaxing and meaningful. First, says Barbara Kilikevich, author of A Mindful Christmas–How to Create a Meaningful, Peaceful Holiday, we have to stop buying into the notion that more is better and that extravagant, expensive gifts are equal to how much we care for one another. “We need to stop believing that doing it all is productive and having it all is meaningful.”

 
Acupuncture Eases Unexplained Symptoms
December 2011

A Natural Alternative May Offer Relief

acupuncturePatients that experience medically unexplained symptoms might benefit from acupuncture, according to new research by the Institute of Health Services Research, Peninsula Medical School, at the University of Exeter. The study involved 80 adults that had consulted their general practitioner eight or more times in the previous year for problems such as headaches, muscle pain, extreme fatigue or joint and back pain. Half received up to 12 sessions of five-element acupuncture during a period of six months; the remainder received no extra treatment.

The patients receiving acupuncture reported improved well-being and scored higher on an individualized health status questionnaire  than the control group. They reported that their acupuncture consultations became increasingly valuable and that the interactive and holistic nature of the sessions gave them a sense that something positive was being done about their condition.

Professor Andrew Gould, who led the study, says it is important to offer patients other options when conventional medicine isn’t working. “It’s soul-destroying for both the patient and doctor when there’s no clear reason for the symptoms patients are suffering from,” he explains. “We don’t know how acupuncture is making a difference, but it seems to be something to do with the treatment, rather than just a placebo or the one-to-one care the patients are getting.”

The study was the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The research results were published inThe British Journal of General Practice.

 
Empower Local Businesses to Strengthen Local Economies
November 2011

Success Tips from Advocate Michelle Long

Michelle_LongMichelle Long is the executive director of the Bellingham, Washington-based Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). The fast-growing network aims to empower local businesses with their financial goals while they actively contribute to healthier communities and a cleaner environment. Their triple bottom line is people, the planet and profit.

BALLE represents 22,000 independent businesses in 30 states and Canadian provinces. By serving as an information clearinghouse and support center, BALLE is proving that no business is too small to make a difference.

Why is it important to foster local economies?

Locally based activity is where we are seeing real prosperity. Today, as we face economic, community and ecological crises, we see bright spots where local businesses are working together to build strong, healthy local economies.

How can local businesses positively affect their  communities  and the environment?

There is a natural accountability when business owners live with the impacts of their decisions, instead of from hundreds or thousands of miles away. Local supply chains also reduce carbon impacts by decreasing transport time.

 
sOccket to Me
November 2011

A Powerful Plaything

Soccer_BallTwo Harvard undergraduate students, Julia Silverman and Jessica Matthews, have come up with a way to harness the kinetic energy of a moving soccer ball and store it as electric current in a battery inside the ball. The invention, called sOccket, collects enough energy in 15 minutes of play to power a typical LED lamp for three hours. The device sports its own power outlet to retrieve the juice inside. Today’s sOccket is designed to last for a year or longer; researchers are studying its larger potential.


Source: CleanTechnica.com

 
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