Child Meditation Class March 18 & 19

Child Meditation Facilitators Training

with optional certification

March 18 & 19, 2017 Held At

Asheville Gynecology & Wellness

Suite E-106

Gerber Village Asheville, NC

Download the Flyer: Child Meditation Facilitators Training Flyer

Enjoy a weekend workshop complete with practical skills and supporting philosophy for teaching guided imagery and mindfulness to children. Since this workshop is also broadcast live globally, you will also have access to the recorded training for six months.

Certification options:
Certified Mindfulness Instructor for Children

Certified Guided Imagery Specialist for Children

$295 (Includes lunch) Scholarships are available

Topics Covered During Child Meditation Facilitators Training

The Basics

•Creating safe spaces.
• What to expected your first time teaching meditation to children & tips. • Research supporting meditation.
• Creating original meditations.
• Working with school- aged vs. teens.


• What children should become mindful of.
• Mindfulness activities appropriate for all age groups.
• Brain science and mindfulness.
• Establishing and enhancing your own mindfulness practice.

Guided Imagery

• Waldorf-style storytelling for teaching meditation. • Meditation based on the five senses.
•Using art to enhance meditation.
• Auras, chakras and understanding subtle energy

Workshop facilitator Sarah Wood Vallely, author of

Sensational Meditation for Children

828.242.0680 text or call


Child Meditation Facilitators Training Flyer

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Acupuncture at Asheville Gynecology & Wellness

Acupuncture  at Asheville Gynecology & Wellness 

Did you know that Asheville Gynecology & Wellness offers Acupuncture Services? Please join us in welcoming Natasha Kubis, L.Ac. 

Natasha Kubis, L.AC,, s and her husband Alex relocated to the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Natasha left a busy Acupuncture practice of 7 years to move to Asheville.  She is steadily building her practice and I am delighted that she affiliated with Asheville Gynecology & Wellness. She is compassionate, gentle, and she listens carefully to each patient’s needs. Her unique style of integrating the various aspects of acupuncture practices with soft tissue work is a truly integrated and whole approach to care. Natasha has an interest in treating pain, anxiety and women’s health.

Acupuncture is a natural form of healing that has many potential benefits that include: drug-free pain relief, treatment of a wide range of acute and chronic ailments with an approach that seeks to restore health and balance that may address underlying causes of illness, and prevention of illness and maintenance of well-being.

How it Works; Meridians

A meridian is an ‘energy highway’ in the human body that connects different areas.
 Energy, or Chi in Chinese, flows throughout the body along these meridian or energy highway, accessing all parts of the body.

There are 12 main channels and 8 extra channels that are named according to the organ and area of the body they eventually flow through.  The meridians are distinguished as either Yin or Yang which reflects a foundational idea in Chinese medicine related to the balancing and connectedness of seemingly opposing forces. Acupuncture points are located along the meridians and different techniques can be used to affect the flow of Chi/energy traversing the meridians.  There are over 2,000 points on the body.

Natasha Head Shot

Natasha Kubis, L.Ac. Acupuncture

Natasha is an astute clinician who integrates soft tissue treatment into her hour-long, one-on-one sessions. Her method of treatment combines Chinese and Japanese techniques and her results have been impressive.  I highly recommend her services to anyone who’s been having health issues that have not responded well to traditional medical care. She can be reached at:

Essential Acupuncture Wellness

828 407 1651


Asheville Gynecology & Wellness

828 585 6655

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Healthy Vitamin D Levels and the End of Summer

Vitamin D Levels and the End of Summer

Labor Day marks the traditional end of summer. With fall around the corner, I wanted to share some thoughts about Vitamin D and the end of Summer. This is important to maintaining a good health and as a gynecologist I am routinely finding deficiencies. There is a lot of talk and a lot of press about healthy Vitamin D Levels. First let’s cover a a few facts about Vitamins in general.



Vitamins are any of a group of compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are not typically synthesized by the body.

Vitamin D is actually synthesized in our skin when ultraviolet B light is absorbed by 7-dehydrocholesterol that transforms it to pre-vitamin D3, which is then converted to Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is metabolized in the liver to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 and then in the kidney to its biologically active form, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Vitamin D is unique among vitamins in that it is also a hormone since it is manufactured in one organ and exerts its effects at a distance upon other organs. Asheville enjoys about the same number of sunny days throughout the year, but most of us are likely to be outdoors more during the summer months.


RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is the amount of vitamin intake that would meet the healthy requirements for 97.5 percent of the population. The Institute of Medicine website explains the method for determining the RDA for Vitamin D.


Sun Exposure

Although chronic sun exposure increases the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer; complete avoidance of sun exposure increases our risk of vitamin D deficiency. This can have serious implications including associations with cancers, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, mood disorders, and some autoimmune diseases. Remember that darker skinned individuals require more sun exposure to produce the same amount of Vitamin D as fairer skinned individuals.

Healthy Vitamin D Levels

The amount of sun exposure that causes our skin to turn just a little red produces about 10,000 to 25,000 international units (IU). Effective UV protection significantly reduces our risk of skin cancers, but also can reduce our production of Vitamin D substantially. Another factor that can affect our health is that as we age our ability to produce Vitamin D declines. In addition, some individuals whose religious or social customs require them to remain covered are at higher risk of developing Vitamin D deficiency because of their almost complete blockade of the sun.

As fall approaches we are less likely to be out in the sun and the need to supplement our diet to maintain healthy and adequate Vitamin D levels becomes more important.


Dr. Mark Hyman recently posted a blog in which he reports that “Two recent studies in The Journal of Pediatrics found that 70 percent of American kids aren’t getting enough vitamin D, and this puts them at higher risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and lower levels of good cholesterol. Low vitamin D levels also may increase a child’s risk of developing heart disease later in life.”


Vitamin D Regulates Functions

Vitamin D has widespread effect in on health and the function of our cells. It regulates cellular growth and proliferation and is important in the differentiation of cells into specific types of tissue. This may account for its importance in reducing the incidence of various types of cancer including cancer of the colon, prostate, breast, and ovary. It is thought to be an inhibitor of these cancers.


Dr. Michael Holick, a Boston University School of Medicine researcher, recommends intakes of up to 2,000 IU a day. This is likely to achieve blood levels of 25 hydroxy vitamin D at between 75 to 125 nmol/L (nanomoles per liter). The government recommends 2,000 IU as the upper limit for vitamin D3 .


6 Tips for Getting the Right Amount of Vitamin D

How much Vitamin D you should take will depend on your age, how far north you live, how much time you spend in the sun, the time of the year, and to a smaller extent your dietary intake. Many people report feeling better when they achieve optimal levels of Vitamin D.


Dr. Mark Hyman offers the following advice for getting optimal levels of vitamin D:

  1. Get tested for 25 OH vitamin D. The current ranges for “normal” are 25 to 137 nmol/L or 10 to 55 ng/ml. These are fine if you want to prevent rickets – but NOT for optimal health. In that case, the range should be 100 to 160 nmol/L or 40 to 65 ng/ml. In the future, we may raise this “optimal” level even higher.


  1. Take the right type of vitamin D. The only active form of vitamin D is vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Look for this type. Many vitamins and prescriptions of vitamin D have vitamin D2 – which is not biologically active.


  1. Take the right amount of vitamin D. If you have a deficiency, you should correct it with 5,000 to 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day for 3 months — but only under a doctor’s supervision. For maintenance, take 2,000 to 4,000 IU a day of vitamin D3. Some people may need higher doses over the long run to maintain optimal levels because of differences in vitamin D receptors, living in northern latitudes, indoor living, or skin color.


  1. Monitor your vitamin D status until you are in the optimal range. If you are taking high doses (10,000 IU a day) your doctor must also check your calcium, phosphorous, and parathyroid hormone levels every 3 months.


  1. Remember that it takes up to 6 to 10 months to “fill up the tank” for vitamin D if you’re deficient. Once this occurs, you can lower the dose to the maintenance dose of 2,000 to 4,000 units a day.


  1. If you eat fish, try to eat dietary sources of vitamin D. These include:
  • Fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil. One tablespoon (15 ml) = 1,360 IU of vitamin D
  • Cooked wild salmon. (3.5) ounces = 360 IU of vitamin D
  • Cooked mackerel. (3.5) ounces = 345 IU of vitamin D
  • Sardines, canned in oil, drained. (1.75) ounces = 250 IU of vitamin D
  • One whole egg = (20) IU of vitamin D


I welcome your comments—but remember, this site does not offer personal medical advice and is not intended to replace consultation with your physician.

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The Benefits of Taking a Walk in Nature

The benefits of taking a walk in nature were features in a recent article from the Proceedings of the National Academey of Sciences.  The researchers found that “Participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain (the subgenual prefrontal cortex or sgPFC)…compared with those who walked through an urban environment”. The spPFC is a region of the brain associated with rumination on negative aspect of self, a feature that can be associated with depression. There many benefits of taking a walk in nature. One conclusion the authors make is that providing accessible natural areas in  heavily urbanized areas may help promote mental health. 


These findings may have implications that go beyond city planning. The benefits of walking in nature can be demonstrated on functional MRI. Something about a walk in the woods evokes fewer negative ruminations (recurring thoughts) about ourselves. The best-selling author of The Power of Now, Eckart Tolle wrote that “We also need nature to show us the way home, the way out of the prison of our minds”. The Researchers at Stanford University have shown there is a specific neural correlation to Tolle’s observation. 


Even short periods of exercise can promote better health. Although study participants engaged in a 90-minute walk, shorter walks can also be expected to produce healthy effects.  Dr. Vicky Scott points out “Gynecologists frequently encourage exercise to improve bone health, to address pre-menstrual dysphoria,  and as a component of weight management”. There are many opportunities to get out in nature—many can be found close to where you work or live. Some cities have converted abandoned railroad tracks into urban bicycling and hiking trails. The North Carolina Rails to Trails website has links to maps and so does Buncombe County. Whether you have to drive somewhere to hike in the mountains or you go out your backdoor to explore the natural world, if you find yourself stuck in a moment where your thoughts just keep looping around negatively, try taking a walk in nature.



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