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Gait TRC: Therapeutic Riding

As my law practice wined down in the years leading up to retirement, I spent money and lots of effort getting certified as a therapeutic riding instructor with PATH International. Retirement seemed a good time for me to give back and meld my love of teaching special needs students. Teaching is something I had done for 11 years, but my love of horses, I have always had. While I was teaching, I often took one or two amenable students to my barn with me on the weekend, not to ride but mostly to clean or just have fun. Horses touched my students in a variety of ways—encouraging speech, eliciting emotions, controlling aggression. However, it wasn’t until after retirement that I realized how powerful a tool therapeutic...

Planting trees benefit India and humanity

Trees benefiting humanity–Bringing healing, hope and rain to India and the world

By Amanda Hollenbeck Trees are not simply an aesthetically pleasing aspect of warmer climates, or an ideal backdrop for an outdoor picnic. They benefit the environment, and our daily lives in many important ways.   Trees benefit humanity and the environment According to the World Wildlife Federation (WWF), about 31% of the planet is covered with trees. These trees produce oxygen that is vital for the survival of Earth and humanity. They also play a crucial role in regulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. WWF hypothesizes that about 15% of greenhouse gas emissions are a result of deforestation.  Deforestation poses an immediate threat to people living in areas without significant  tree and plant life. According to a 2016 report from the Institute for European Environmental Policy, people who are located in cities...

Nature Deficit Disorder is a true problem in our tech-advanced society

Nature Deficit Disorder—Could You Be a Victim?

by Julia Booth, a Fall 2016 graduate of William Paterson University, NJ Could you be a victim of Nature Deficit Disorder? Are you spending more time inside in front of the television/computer screen instead of enjoying the green scenery of nature? Are you noticing a sense of hostility and change in behavior throughout the day? If your answers are yes, you may be suffering from Nature Deficit Disorder.   What is Nature Deficit Disorder? Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) is not something characterized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Although not included in this book used by psychiatrists and psychologists to diagnose and treat mental illnesses, NDD is something very real. Richard Louv, an American author and founder and chairperson of the Children and Nature Network, and...

Reduce the negative impact of stress by using outdoor stress relief remedies

Outdoor Stress Relief: How Nature Helps You Heal

That nature provides the resources we need to relax our bodies and counteract our stress levels may seem obvious. Then why do millions of people suffer from such stress-related conditions as heart issues, high blood pressure, and tensed muscles. Outdoor stress relief is one of the most natural cures for stress-induced health issues. In this new age, people are beyond strained. A 2014 poll conducted by NPR and the Harvard School of Public Health found that one in four Americans had suffered a great deal of stress. Many people understand that being in nature can have a positive impact on our bodies and our minds. Too many, however, ignore these understandings because they do not know the underlying processes of how nature helps. Dr. Doni...

Spring is the best time to renew your career

Why Spring Is the Best Time to Renew Your Work Options and Career Goals

By Rebecca Pall, Mind Key intern   With spring being a time of renewal in nature, it is also a great time to find opportunities to better our well-being.  One of the many changes that people may undergo is finding a new source of employment. The energy of the season notwithstanding, professionally speaking, spring is an ideal time to clean up your resume and begin the hunt for a new job.     The best time of year to job-hunt is now According to an article published by Career Sidekick, a website devoted to helping people advance their career and find better jobs, March, April, and May are some of the best times to apply for a new job. This is because employees  tend to take family vacations in the...

PA Event – Soil Biology for Gardners

Our friends at Rodale Institute hold many incredibly useful and interesting workshops.  Visit Rodale Institute to check out their many offerings. Soil Biology for Gardeners June 11 10am-1pm   Do you ever wonder what the term "healthy soil" really means? Learn more from Rodale Institute's soil research staff and about what's really going on under your feet (and all around your plants' roots).   Register > ...

Newport, RI Weekly Event – Kids’ Corner and Food Passport Program Every Wednesday

  Mind Key loves and supports families and natural growing things, so to find that the Aquidneck Grower's Market is creating a program for kids this summer makes us giddily happy!  Make sure you bring your kiddos and check it out.  Every Wednesday this summer in Newport, RI. A Kids' Corner and Food Passport program are coming to the market! Aquidneck Community Table is pleased to announce a new program for our Wednesday summer growers market in Newport: we will hold a Kids' Corner from 2-6 PM with fun activities for our littlest customers! In addition to games like corn hole and fun coloring pages, the Kids' Corner will occasionally feature special activities such as planting seedlings. We will also hold veggie tastings for our Food Passport Program, in which kids will...

Teachers and Students Connecting Through Nature

Every day I am a runner in a maze as if I were Zelda from the first Nintendo system. One day I teach, and they learn meanings of words like "scruples" and facts about the real Dracula. The next day I am shadowing a student who at any moment could disappear into the woods, or I am intervening in a verbal battle between a bully and his or her prey. "Enough with the side conversations. Get off the table, please. Focus on your work. Stop cursing." These are a few of my favorite daily declarations. But then there might be a Wednesday or Thursday when I get to play Scrabble with my struggling readers. There may be a Friday when I can get the...

The magic of spring today

Merry Beltane!Today is May Day, or Beltane as some call it… an ancient festival celebrating the turn of seasons, life, warmth and fertility.  Whether you honor the ancient celebrations or not, it’s hard to deny the magic in the air come May.  Halfway between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, Beltane represents things that are bursting into growth - the tiny seedlings are pushing out leaves, drinking in water and nutrients, and getting ready to flower.  Animals of all kinds are mating, the frogs’ chorus filling the evening air with their song, birds busily building nests, and insects filling their air with their humming buzz.  What new signs of spring are cropping up by you?Here on my mountain the dandelions are showing their furry...