APR 2016

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Page 14 of 100

L oosely paraphrased from the Bible, the saying "heal and ye shall be healed" is meant to remind us that by helping others, we are actually doing the same for ourselves. However, it could just as easily apply to our relationship to the planet, and not only because we need it in order to exist. According to the principles of ecotherapy, much of what ails us physically, mentally and spiritually can be addressed by tapping into the power of our natural surroundings. Ecotherapy is already integrated into the healthcare system in Western Europe. We're not quite there in the U.S., though "ecotherapist" is recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor as a viable occupation. The Graduate Institute (, a Bethany, Connecticut-based, not-for- profi t institution founded in 1999 by progressive educator Dr. A. Harris "Bud" Stone, currently offers certifi cation in Ecotherapy and Cultural Sustainability, among numerous other emerging fi elds of study. The many components of the nine-month program include classes in holistic gardening, animal-assisted therapies and, yes, natural healing. "Eco" comes from the Greek "oikos", meaning "home". As humans we may think of ourselves as having many homes—from our physical and spiritual cores to our structural houses, cities and countries—but in a very real sense, we all have just one. Ecotherapy is similar to its forebears, Traditional Chinese Medicine and ayurveda, in that the person is always regarded as part of a larger system. As such, their biology is viewed in the context of patterns that exist in our ecosystem as a whole. Further, societal health becomes directly linked to ecological conditions, and ecotherapists-in-training learn to become "agents of change" for individuals as well as communities. The result, ideally, is greater health for both. Spas had a pivotal role in providing ecotherapy to the world well before the term was coined, but never before has that role been as crucial. In this Earth Month issue, we share ideas for advancing your efforts, from the products you choose to use and sell ("Ground Control", page 22, "Catch the Bouquet", page 38, and "Organic Only", page 36) to the environmentally responsible services you provide ("Just Subtract Water", page 16, and "Product Recycling Practices", page 34) to the commitments you make ("Don't Be Cruel", page 66). As global awareness expands about the effects of human activity on our atmosphere, climate, oceans, and food and water supplies, our potential to "heal and be healed" by our planet still exists. Certifi cate or no, when it comes to our ecosystem, we all stand to benefi t from being agents of change. Healing is a Two-Way Street EDITOR'S PAGE 12 DAYSPA | APRIL 2016 Taking care of our environment not only allows us to survive— it also helps us thrive. Linda Kossoff Executive Editor "Much of what ails us can be addressed by tapping into our natural surroundings."

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