Monday, December 22, 2014

What do holistic dentistry and orthodontics look like?

We all know that as adults, we're supposed to go to the dentist twice a year. But what about children?

For our December meeting, we asked our presenters to share insights with us on the following questions:
  • When do children need to see a dentist and start getting x-rays?
  • What do we do if our pediatrician tells us breastfeeding is causing problems with tooth enamel
  • How concerned should we be about fluoride and about mercury in amalgams? 
  • How does nutrition play a role in the health of teeth and the development of the mouth?
  • Is there a problem with prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use?
  • How can the size and shape of the mouth affect the rest of the body?
  • What do breastfeeding challenges have to do with mouth shape and structure, and what are the possible interventions?
  • Is there any connection with oral health and sensory disorders, asthma, allergies, sleep apnea or bedwetting?
  • What are some signs that there might be crowding and a possible need for orthodontic intervention? How early can you tell? How early should you do anything?
  • Are braces inevitable? What can we do to avoid or limit the need for them? And why might we want to avoid braces?
  • What if we had braces as a child but still experience headaches or breathing problems from a too-narrow airway? Or what if we never had braces but don't like the look of our smile? What can be done as an adult?
And, boy, did they these questions and so much more!

Dr. James Bronson and his son, Dr. Alex Bronson, of Bronson Family Dentistry gave a wonderful presentation to a rapt audience! We all learned a lot. Notes were taken and will be polished up to share early in 2015. Please email jessicaHMNarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com if you're interested with "Request holistic dentistry notes" in the subject heading.

Friday, October 31, 2014

De-stressing before the holidays!

For our November meeting, Life & Leadership Coach for mothers Alexandra Hughes of The Bliss Space will present an educational, inspiring and supportive talk and workshop designed for mothers who experience stress and worry as part of their daily lives.

We will be sharing simple, practical strategies that will teach us how to be a mom in a relaxed, yet energizing and self-loving way.

The title is: "From Stress to Bliss: Simple Strategies to Help Moms Feel Relaxed & Energized”

Thursday, November 20, 7-9 p.m., UUCA, 4444 Arlington Blvd.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Moms Night Out - BYOB

The October Moms' Night Out was a real treat for the taste buds.  Nine women gathered and sipped away on a variety of beverages.  The drinks on the table were:

-Kombucha from MOM's Organic Market in Merrifield (take your own bottle and fill it up in the store from the tap)
-Two juices from Bon Vivant (formerly Seva Cafe) in Del Ray
-Tea from House of Steep in Arlington (Digest and Caramel Rooibos)
-Organic Wine, for those who needed something stronger
-Pear/Cinnamon Juice

We also had some tasty snacks, including coconut muffins, lavender shortbread cookies, and chocolates.  

The women did what women do well: they talked and talked!  The evening ended around 10:30, well past the projected 9:00 ending because everyone was having so much fun.  Most of the drinks were finished and the moms departed with a happy belly and a rejuvenated spirit. There is nothing like women having the chance to share their current challenges and joys. This was a much needed night out! Thanks to all the moms who made it.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Digestion and Elimination 101 in October

October is Holistic Living Month! Many believe that most healing starts in the gut. What better time to go back to basics and get to know our digestive system's ins and outs!

It's not just what you eat but what you absorb. Join us to learn about the intricacies of the digestive system with Dr. Sean Woods of The Chiropractic Associates and Cindy Santa Ana, Board Certified Health Coach, of Unlock Better Health.

Do you suspect food intolerances and sensitivities in your children or in your own body?
Does anyone in your family experience constipation, loose stools, gas, or bloating?
Do you feel like structural problems from pregnancy are interfering with digestion?
Does your digestion seem to change with hormonal changes?
Just how often are you supposed to have a bowel movement, and what should it look like?
What are the best conditions for optimal digestion?

In addition to some biology 101 about what happens in which parts of our bodies, our speakers address questions about nutrient absorption and about elimination.

They will also discuss enzymes, supplements, probiotics and healing foods, elimination diets, acid/alkaline foods, food combining and some traditional foods preparation such as soaking grains and fermenting foods.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Special October daytime meeting!

Our recent meeting on Supporting Children's Emotional Health was so powerful, we decided to bring the topic back for a daytime meeting on Friday, October 3!

This special daytime meeting will be a conversation about some of the approaches and strategies we discussed at our August meeting and will include copies of the handouts. One or two of the panelists may be on hand, including chapter leader Jessica Haney, and we can share personal experiences, ask questions, and maybe test out a method or two!

Whether you attended in August and want to talk in more depth or you are just exploring holistic approaches, this should be a great conversation.

Friday, October 3, Shirlington Library, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
As always, children are welcome, but please bring quiet toys or crafts to supplement our toy box offerings.

Our chapter has daytime meetings when leader schedules allow. We welcome members who would like to organize regular daytime meetings to apply to become a leader. Volunteer help from non-leaders could also help us schedule more daytime meetings. If you're interested, please contact Jessica at jessicahmnarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September meeting on Sleep: Science and Solutions for the Whole Family

What happens during sleep?
Why is sleep so important for our bodies and our children's bodies?
What might be interfering with quality sleep?
What are some of the effects of poor sleeping habits for children and for adults?
How can we ensure that everyone in our family sleeps well?

Join us for a presentation by Dr. Benjamin Hopsicker of Alexandria Wellness Center on the science of sleep with Pediatric Sleep Coach Michelle Winters of SleepWell Sleep Solutions sharing insights on instilling good sleeping habits with babies and children.

Sleep: Science and Solutions for the Whole Family
Thursday, September 18, 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22204

Children are always welcome to attend.

RSVP is not required but is helpful; it helps us plan for adequate handouts.
Email JessicaHMNArlAlex (at) gmail (dot) com or reply to the Facebook event.

And be sure to check out this great article from the September 2 Washington Post on how lights from electronic devices can disrupt sleep, especially for teenagers.

Motherblessing August 2014

We had another great motherblessing last weekend. We put together some thoughts and necklaces for two of our moms in absentia, and artist Amy did a beautiful drawing on the guest of honor's belly. We shared birth stories, thoughts about siblings and just generally enjoyed supporting our expectant mama!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Powerful panel on supporting children's emotional health

What a heartfelt and inspiring meeting we had last week! The topic was Supporting Children's Emotional Health.

Our panelists shared wisdom on breaking patterns and belief systems that don't serve us so that we can be fully present for our children and teach them healthy habits. We talked about engagement and connection to intuition. The speakers touched on food, natural medicine, family rhythms, bodywork and energy work as strategies to ground and support children emotionally and physically (which can often be one and the same!)

Thank you to all the attendees; to our new host, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington and chapter co-leader Michelle for her work to find us a new home; and to the panelists:

moderator Jessica Haney, Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria chapter founder and co-leader and founder of resource website Mindful Healthy Life of Metro DCSally DiCesare, Craniosacral therapist at Your Blissful JourneyEmily Griffin, LICSW, family therapist at Happy Parents, Happy BabiesLaura Freix; Accunect practitioner, BodyTalk practitioner, and Holistic Lifestyle Coach with iEmbraceWellnessMarya Michael of Spiritual Coaching for Children; and Lindsey Vick, Wellness Director at Sunflowers Healing and Wellness and Holistic practitioner: hypnotherapy, Reiki energy healing, HypnoBirthing, birth Doula.

Notes will be posted for members on our Yahoo group soon and can be requested by emailing jessicahmnarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Supporting Children's Emotional Health in August

What's the best way to soothe a child's emotional pain and to teach a child coping mechanisms that will serve her well?

  • How can some underlying causes of a child's emotional distress can be addressed with nutrition, bodywork, remedies,  energy work, supplements or other holistic therapies?
  • How can addressing our own responses to stress impact our children?

Our panel will share a number of resources and tools to support children’s emotional health, including information on healing modalities and local resources.
We all find ourselves trying to help our children through tough times and upsetting situations, including small daily hurts and everyday challenges as well as larger health issues, death of loved ones, divorce, and other sources of stress. 

Our panel will share holistic approaches to children's emotional well-being that will serve them (and us!) in a variety of situations.

Location: Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd at S. George Mason Dr.
Note that the 8/14 issue of the Washington Post incorrectly listed address of our old meeting location. Please find us at UUCA at Rt. 50 and G. Mason!

Date/Time: Thursday, August 21, 7:00-9:00 p.m. (Doors open at 6:50)

Note: While children are always welcome at Holistic Moms' meetings, due to the sensitive nature of the topic, parents might want to leave children at home for this meeting if possible.

How do we do it? July discussion on "Strategies for Holistic Living"

We always say, "We all do the best we can." And we mean it! But sometimes our individual ideas of "best" don't match up to our reality ..or to something we see on Facebook or Pinterest. On the other hand, sometimes we surprise ourselves at the progress we've made and need a reminder to pat ourselves on the back!

On July 17, we talked about it all: the good, the not-so-good, the waiting-for-inspiration (or until the kids are out of diapers!)

This was an open discussion of how we make this holistic parenting journey work.
  • What do we do without thinking now that might have seemed hard five years ago? 
  • What progress has been slow but steady? 
  • What do we dream of incorporating into our lives but can't imagine how?
We learned from and supported one another! Commiserated, inquired, and inspired!

We used a worksheet to think about our values and identify goals and strategies that align with our values. It also had a list of areas of our lives to think about. Email jessicahmnarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com for a copy.

Topics for consideration were totally open, but we talked about how we pursue holistic living in the areas of:
  • diet & nutrition
  • health & wellness
  • home life, family life, mindfulness & spirituality 
  • organizing, cleaning & using spaces in our home and garden/balcony/yard
  • service, volunteerism & wider community

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2014 Solstice Potluck Social!

The rain stayed away and our 2nd annual potluck social was a delightful evening! Thanks to all who came and brought delicious dishes! It was great to catch up with old friends and meet new ones! Here's a glimpse of the evening!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Celebrate the Solstice: Potluck Social returns June 19

We had such a great time last year at Fort Scott Park at our 2013 Solstice Potluck Social, we decided to do it again!

Come on out starting at 5:30 p.m. and bring a healthy, labeled dish to share. Children should be dressed ready to play on the playground and in the sandbox. The park has restrooms and we've rented the pavilion. The picnic will go forward rain or shine except in cases of extreme weather such a lightning, high winds, or tornado watch. We'll wrap up by 8:30.

Chalk, bubbles and simple crafts welcome as well!

Fort Scott Park is located near Ridge Road and 23rd St between Crystal City and 395 at 2800 Fort Scott Dr., Arlington, VA

Friday, May 2, 2014

What's in your supplements?

Are you confused about nutritional supplements? Not sure which ones to buy or what ingredients to avoid? What’s necessary and what might be a waste of money?

We all learned so much about this topic on May 15 from Dr. Keri Marshall, MS, ND of Makai Naturopathic Center in Bethesda, MD and Molly Carr, Nurse Practitioner and Herbalist affiliated with Village Green Apothecary, a compounding pharmacy and supplier of a wide variety of supplement lines. 

Thank you to Molly and to Dr. Marshall for the wonderful information they shared with us. Notes will be sent to members. Email jessicahmnarlalex (at) gmail (dot) com to request notes.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How our birth order and sibling relationships shape us

Ever wonder what your life would have been like if you'd never had siblings? Or if you were an only child and had had siblings? Or how the blending of families later in life might have affected you?
Or if you had been born earlier or later with respect to your siblings?
How do we learn about interacting with others through our intimate family relationships?

Dr. Rene Hackney of Parenting by Dr. Rene will shed light on the fascinating question of how our family relationships and our position in the family shape our personality.

Please note that this meeting will begin at the earlier start time of 6:30 p.m. in order to give Dr. Rene time to address both topics fully and take questions. Please arrange to arrive on time if at all possible.

Please also note that this meeting date -- April 24 -- is the fourth Thursday of the month rather than our usual third due to spring break and holy week.

We anticipate that this will be our last meeting at the AUMC, 716 S. Glebe Rd. Arlington, VA 22204. The church is undergoing changes and will no longer be able to host us after April (and please check this space the night of the meeting to make sure there are no last-minute changes).

If you have any ideas about a possible new location for our chapter evening meetings (must be able to accommodate at least 40 people comfortably and allow us to stay to 9:30 p.m.), please email our chapter leadership at HolisticMomsArlAlex (at) gmail (dot) com

Thyroid Health special daytime meeting packs the house!

The thyroid is an important part of our endocrine system that gets a real workout during pregnancy and the postpartum period! If you don't have a history of thyroid issues, years of not sleeping well and of breastfeeding might put enough stress on your system to cause problems. If you have been diagnosed with a thyroid condition, chances are your endocrinologist might not have explained to you how your issues are connected with the rest of your health in a holistic way.

At a special daytime meeting, Shep Saltzman, R.N. of Vienna Complementary Medicine and Vital Mind/Body Therapies gave a fabulous presentation on Thyroid Health. We learned a lot about hormones, the endocrine system and how inflammation plays a (very important!) role in autoimmune disease. Everyone had the chance to complete a metabolic self-assessment and then learn what symptoms relate to which organ systems or issues like low/high blood sugar, low/high cortisol, and various gut issues.

We had a great turnout with lots of mamas, and little ones, too! Thanks to all who joined and spread the word about this important topic. And thank you to Shep for a wonderful presentation!

For an introduction to the topic, see Shep's videos on his website,

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Celebrating 5 years in style!

What a fabulous party we had to celebrate five years of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network!

Thank you to all the many volunteers, exhibitors and donors to our raffle and silent auction!

And thank you to all the members, former members, and visitors who came out to support us!

We enjoyed:

family yoga with one of our longtime members, Sylvia, who teaches at  Lil Omm, Sun & Moon Yoga, and Saffron

live music with Marsha Goodman-Wood

 refreshments provided in large part by MOM's Organic Market, along with South Block Juice & Smoothies, MTO Kombucha, Nourish Market, and Z-Pizza
 a raffle with tons of great prizes and a silent auction with many wonderful services to bid on

goodie bags (donated by Whole Foods Market Arlington) that were filled with coupons and discounts from local area vendors (including Studio Body Logic, My Whole Self, Mind Your Body Oasis and Portrait Playtime) along with samples of Divine Mama bars, Go Chews from Momme Meals, and muscle rubs from Acupuncture Alexandria

conversations with over 25 practitioners and businesses, and lots of time to play and socialize.

Thank you to FUMC for hosting and to everyone who joined in the fun.

Please join us for
  • our special daytime meeting on April 2 with Shep Saltzman on "Thyroid Health" at 10:30 at Shirlington Library and 
  • our April evening meeting on April 24 (a week later than usual because of spring break) with Dr. Rene Hackney on "Siblings and Birth Order" at AUMC, 716 S. Glebe Road. This will be our last meeting at AUMC, which is undergoing changes. Please let us know if you have another meeting site in mind for us!

Friday, March 14, 2014

VA and MD chapters of HMN

Looking for a chapter of Holistic Moms Network in the DC Metro area?

Arlington/Alexandria Chapter
Meets the third Thursday of the month, 7-9 p.m. and occasional daytime meetings
Chapter blog:
Chapter site:

Burke/Springfield Chapter
Meets the first Monday of the month 7-9 p.m.
Chapter site:

Loudoun County Chapter
Weekday and weekend meetings in Ashburn, Sterling and Leesburg
Chapter site:

Northern Virginia Chapter
Meets the second Tuesday of the month in Fairfax, 6:30 p.m.
Chapter blog:
Chapter site:

Montgomery County Chapter - launching April 16!
Chapter site:

Information is subject to change; always check the chapter site for updated information. The national site for the broader Holistic Moms Network is

Update: There are new chapters in the works in Gainesville, Richmond and Virginia Beach. If you know someone who might be interested in co-leading one of these chapters, please contact hmnmentorlisa (at) holisticmoms (dot) org

Don't see a chapter near you? Start your own chapter! Join a great community of Holistic Moms Network leaders!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Celebrating Five Years: Anniversary Party March 20!

The Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network is thrilled to be celebrating five years of community in 2014! It's time for a party!

Please join us Thursday, March 20, 6-9 p.m. at Fairlington United Methodist Church, 3900 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia for what promises to be a great night of celebration, connection, and community.

We'll have refreshments for everyone and crafts for the kids, plus family yoga and entertainment.

Many of our past speakers will be on hand to chat and share information in a mini holistic living expo.

There will be lots of raffle prizes and items for bid in a silent auction (cash or check only). We will also have goodie bags with additional discounts and fun stuff.

Auction proceeds will go toward chapter expenses and also be donated to the Helping Moms in Need program, which sponsors HMN memberships for low-income families across the country.

This event starts at 6:00, an hour earlier than our usual meetings, to make it easier for children to join in the fun!

6:00: Doors open. Holistic Living Expo opens and silent auction bidding starts.
6:15: Family yoga with Sylvia of Lil Omm
6:45-7:15: Music by singer-songwriter Marsha Goodman-Wood
7:15: Announcements & thanks, followed by socializing, networking, food, & crafts
8:00: Silent auction closes. Raffle winners announced
Purchases of silent auction items (cash or check only), more socializing and networking
9:00 Event concludes

Exhibit area will include the following businesses:

Acupuncture in Del Ray, Alexandria Wellness Center, Apurva Wellness Center
Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, Big Green Purse, Body Connect Health & Wellness, Center for Natural Cures, Cornerstone Chiropractic, Coach Scott Fox (EFT Practitioner, Everyday Health and Wellness, Freedom Wellness Global, Grow Your Health Festival 2014, Health Builders, Healthy Self, LLC, Holistic Intuition, Lil Omm Yoga, My Whole Self, Neck Back and Beyond, Power of Movement, Pure Living, LLC, SleepWell Sleep Solutions, Steinmetz Center for Integrative Medicine, Sun & Moon Yoga, Teal Center for Therapeutic Body Work, TRUE Health and Wholeness, Whole Dental Health Center

MOM's Organic Market of Alexandria is providing a major portion of the refreshments. Thanks, MOM's!

Thank you to all of our donors! Come see what great offerings they've made for the silent auction and raffle
The Teal Center for Therapeutic Bodywork Harris Whole Health
TRUE Health and Wholeness
lil omm yoga
Sleep Well Solutions
Northern Virginia Midwifery
Marybeth Walsh of My Whole Self
Steinmetz Center for Integrative Medicine
MtoM Consulting
The Gellar Law Group
The Center for Natural Cures
Whole Health Dental Center
Acupuncture Alexandria
Silver Diner
Elevation Burger Arlington
Mind Your Body Oasis
House of Steep
Live Well with Liz
Divine Mama Bars
MTO Kombucha
Nourish Market
revel birth services
Maryland Institute of Integrative Health
Local Motion Studio
St. Elmo's Coffee Pub
Encore Stage & Studio
Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed
Momme Meals
Mindful Healthy Life of Metro DC 
Dr. Cindy Durakis at The Healing Tree
Honest Soul Yoga
Jan Watkins Counseling
Dr. Margaret Gennaro
Neck Back & Beyond
Solar Publishing
Holistic Intuition
Big Green Purse
Whole Foods Market Arlington
Richard Fischer, DDS
Sally DiCesare of Your Blissful Journey
Apurva Ayurvedic Healing
Alexis Knox NYR Organic 
Love & Carrots
Cornerstone Chiropractic
Body Connect Health & Wellness
MOM's Organic Market  

Plan Your Garden!

Thanks to Guy Kilpatric, director of horticulture at Love & Carrots for sharing his organic gardening wisdom with us at our February meeting. We talked about soil, sun, and seed and had a great conversation about how to involve children in gardening.

We're working on scheduling a Moms Night Out on the topic of chores and shared household responsibilities which can also address integrating gardening into home life.

Guy also sounded open to an on-site follow-up mini-meeting, perhaps in summer when he point things out during full bloom.
To learn more about member-only events in addition to the public monthly meetings, join our chapter at