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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Living in Ghana in Winter Part 2

There are pros and cons in most things in life especially when you uproot yourself from your birth home (Houston, TX) and relocate more than 5k miles away to your ancestral home (Ghana, West Africa) where no one in your living family has ever been. Repatriation opens your heart and mind to a new world different, exciting and incomprehensible!

Yes, Ghana is beautiful, peaceful and very affordable however, once you are on the ground here you do realize there are some serious issues that affect the quality of life.

1. The overwhelming amount of trash that is not disposed of properly. (We keep Divine Life Sanctuary compound, roadside and beach area clean.)


2. The poor conditions of the schools for children and the literacy rate. (We volunteer in our local schools, sponsor students, and donate school supplies.)

3. The high level of pollution on the roads due to little or no emissions standards. (We don't own a car.)

4. There is still a considerable amount of open defecation in the both the urban and village areas which points to overall poor sanitation conditions throughout the country. (Working with the Khepra Team to bring proper sanitation to rural areas of Africa.) 

I can't talk about country wide solutions to any of these because after living here for ten years it has become apparent that these things have become a part of the cultural norm. I do know that the results of these 4 nuisances in the fabric of the people contribute to poor health, lower life expectancy and it takes away from the beauty that the majority of Ghana is. If you have some solutions for these, let's vibe and work with the government and ministries to help out.


For those who are considering the move, know that just like in the US all things are not perfect no matter where you go. However, if I ran down to you my reasons for loving Ghana the list and what I can say about it would take up an entire book. Which I may write some day. 


Peace and blessings,
Dr. Akua
January 23, 2020
Central Region, Ghana



About the Author: Dr. Akua Gray, ND is the author of numerous books on wellness, naturopathy and vegan nutrition. Her latest series of education manuals include Naturopathic Reiki Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and Detox Therapy: Detoxing Should Feel Good Too are available  through www.alop-store.com or Amazon. She is currently the primary curriculum developer for A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute and teaches an annual series of Naturopathic courses online and in person. Visit www.alifeofpeace.org

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Living in Ghana in the Winter

 Every year sometime in October I pack up a couple of suitcases and store my summer clothes in the closet and jump on a plane to the Motherland, Ghana to be exact. This has been an annual for me for the past 10 years. I am often asked Dr. Akua how is it living in Ghana and my answer is always, "It is sooo peaceful."

When Dr. Chenu and I started this repatriation journey we knew we wanted to be by the sea and we wanted a quiet area with fresh air and enough land to grow an organic garden and fruit tree orchard. When we found the perfect spot we called it Divine Life Sanctuary. We also knew that we wanted to share this little piece of paradise with those who wanted to experience nature in all her peaceful ways.Quite a few wonderful guests have come through over the years and we have been enriched by each one. Our doors are always open.

The first thing about Ghana in the winter is the warm weather, about 85 degrees everyday and 70's at night with a cool ocean breeze. The second thing I love about Ghana in the winter is being able to eat fresh from the garden and orchard about 90% of the food that we eat. Third is the peacefulness of the river as it rises and falls with the tide of the ocean that is just on the other side of the sand dune. Last but not least is the beauty of a mono-culture. Being in the midst of nature also leaves ample time for meditation, exercise, yard work, and volunteering in our local village schools and clinics. It's another side of life completely different from the way we live in the US. 


If you have ever wanted to just go and live somewhere else in the world to really feel at peace in life even if for a moment in the winter, my encouragement to you is do it. I have found the same peace on extended stays in Belize, The Bahamas, Israel and Egypt. Nature is waiting for you to open yourself to experience her as a part of you. See her myriad of creations as an extension of yourself and find peace in being surrounded by your natural self. Reconnecting with nature will open a world of love and acceptance that links directly to your compassion for life. She gives so freely and only ask to be cultivated for nurturing and preservation. 

Live everyday like you know who you are. Divine!

Peace and blessings,
Dr. Akua
December 12, 2019
Central Region, Ghana



About the Author: Dr. Akua Gray, ND is the author of numerous books on wellness, naturopathy and vegan nutrition. Her latest series of education manuals include Naturopathic Reiki Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and Detox Therapy: Detoxing Should Feel Good Too are available  through www.alop-store.com or Amazon. She is currently the primary curriculum developer for A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute and teaches an annual series of Naturopathic courses online and in person. Visit www.alifeofpeace.org

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Naturopathic Pediatrics Series: Wellness Therapies for Children

Touch is a divine sensation that stimulates endorphins and builds healthy cells in every part of the body. Children always want to remain close to their parents when they are young because both energy and physical connection provides comfort, security and positive nourishment.

The following 10 wellness therapies are the most beneficial for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual nourishment for our beautiful little ones.

1. Hugs Yes that is the #1 therapy that nurtures the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual faculties. Hugs are full body/mind stimulators that enhance overall well being. Naturopaths recommend you hug your child at least 3 times a day. I say hug them anytime you think about it.

2. Baths The soothing nature of water calms the natural anxiousness of little ones after a long day of play and learning. Although quick showers have become the norm today, submerging the body in water for deep cleansing and hydration is the way nature intended. Especially if you have a little one that doesn't drink enough water during the day, the body will absorb through the integumentary system hydrogen and oxygenn that it needs. Children should have bath time at least 3 times a week.

3. Music The sound vibrations in music can set the tone for a calm disposition in a child. Music helps to stimulate the function of the organs, which is great for growing children. High tones stimulate the nervous system, mid tones stimulate the internal organs, and low tones stimulate the lower part of the body, intestines, legs and feet.

4. Reiki as an energy vibration therapy is done with very gentle touch that provides a moment of relaxation, healing, and cellular regeneration. Your loving hands are placed a light as a butterflies touch on the little one with the intention of sending them positive energy of love, good health and peace. If you would like to be certified in Reiki you are welcome to join one of ALOP many free community Naturopathic Reiki classes held in a city near you or online throughout the year.

5. Massage, like hugs, is a favorite for most little ones. Simple rubbing of the back, arms and legs with an aromatic shea butter or oil is excellent for evening unwind or a morning gratitude session. My granddaughter has received massage all her life and now at five she's giving therapy massage to my back and shoulders and to her Big Baba's feet some nights before bed! As they say children live what they learn.

6. Reflexology This touch therapy works great for full body stimulation if you can get past ticklish feet! The nerve endings in the feet correlate with the upper, middle, and lower sections of the body and stimulate the flow of energy to the brain, the internal organs, and the external parts of the body. This is the therapy of choice for children with autism.

7. Yoga Moving the arms and legs of infants in daily yoga stretches and doing a weekly yoga routine with small children helps them to learn the importance of moving the body for health at an early age. 

8. Crystal Therapy can be administered as an elixir. Children can wear crystals as a braclet, earrings, anklet, or necklace. They can sleep with them under their pillow, hold them during meditation or put them in the water during bath time. When choosing a crystal for your child, tumbled crystals are best because it is less likely to release any small pieces. To learn  more about crystals, CLICK HERE

9. Chakra Therapy If your little one experiences frustrations, stress or excessive emotional upheavals, chakra therapy may be a good way to help balance their energy for everyday living. Stimulating the energy flow in the chakras can be done through foods, activities, colors, meditations, and more. If you are not familiar with Chakra Therapy you are welcome to download my ebook on Chakra Therapy at www.bojakazhealthnetwork.com 

10. Pranic Healing is a skill to learn through a level 1 course. It is a technique that allows you to monitor the health of your child and provide an energy therapy that is noninvasive, gentle and very effective in balancing the body, mind and spirit. 

Remember to love and care for your babies with all you have. They grow up so fast!


Light and love,
Dr. Akua
May 8, 2019
Nassau, Bahamas



About the Author: Dr. Akua Gray, ND is the author of numerous books on wellness, naturopathy and vegan nutrition. Her latest series of education manuals include Naturopathic Reiki Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and Detox Therapy: Detoxing Should Feel Good Too are available through www.bojakazhealthnetwork.com or Amazon. She is currently the primary curriculum developer for A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute and teaches an annual series of Naturopathic courses online and in person. Visit www.alifeofpeace.org

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Naturopathic Pediatrics Series: Holistic Baby Care

Caring for a newborn infant takes time and detailed specifics. Ideally the whole immediate family will participate in the care and nurturing of the baby to create a balance of energy and support for both mother and child. The key focus areas in naturopathic infant care provide a formula to grow healthy children that are physically strong, mentally positive, emotionally secure and spiritually progressive. There is no certain time to introduce infants to the holistic way of living, as they grow it would be ideal if that is the way of life that is taught to them from the very beginning."  

Feeding and Nutrition
When babies emerge from the womb if given the opportunity the very first thing they do is feed and establish a latch to the mother’s breast. Even if the mother is not 100% healthy, her body can still produce the antibodies needed for the baby to begi n proper growth and disease fighting agents. This involuntary response only requires that mother be willing to make the breast available. In the nursing stages, healthy mothers are able to breastfeed until the baby voluntarily weans, which take place between one and five years old. When mothers are lactating the following should be considered for holistic health: 
A. No detox therapy during lactation.
B. Avoid these herbs that may have an effect on milk flow and baby’s system like aloe, basil,  comfrey, garlic, parsley, sage, tobacco and thyme.
C. Relaxation and hydration therapies are best during breastfeeding.

Steps to Transitioning  an Infant to Solid Foods
a. Choose raw single fruits and vegetables that are naturally soft and easy to swallow. 
b. Prepare foods by smashing or blending.
c. Do not use seasonings: salt, sugar, honey, etc.
d. Monitor child for 24 hours for reactions with the introduction of each food. 
e. Train the child to drink 30 minutes to an hour after solid meals.
f. When introducing staple or starchy foods use foods that are non-constipating, rice, oats, sweet potato, spelt, plantain, etc. Avoid potato, yam, pasta, white bread and all types of meats.
g. When introducing cooked foods make sure the child is old enough, with teeth, to chew properly.

Children learn their eating habits from their surroundings. Provide an example of good and balanced eating to the child so that they have a clear understanding of what it is to have proper nutrition. A diet of live vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes is especially important for growing and developing children. Sugar, dairy, animal fats and excessively salty foods break down the body’s immune system and sets up the foundation for a life of disease and discomfort. Eliminate dairy products, chocolate, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and wheat. Include dietary supplements like spirulina and lecithin.

Bonding for Your Baby
Creating the necessary bond for the infant and family is the source of the security needed to grow up strong and healthy. Infants should never be left to feel afraid, painful or insecure. The primary bonding takes place with the mother and it is vital that she submits herself to the unconditional presence that is needed for complete security. The presence of other relatives is also important as the infant grows into their environment to become a fully functioning member of the family. Holistically there is no such thing as spoiling a child. Because this world is new, strange and overwhelming on most levels to an infant, their need to be close to the familiar actually builds up their confidence to explore their world at a pace that does not create fear. Parents are encouraged to keep their baby close to them, to consistently touch them with positive loving snuggles, and always be available. Children who are neglected in this way develop a cold nature and often have social and family issues as they grow older. One of the most enduring ways of creating that security is what is popularly known as “baby wear.” 


Physical Deveopment
The holistic physical care of an infant is centered on stabilizing the environment to prevent disease and injury. This is another reason why infants should remain in close proximity to their primary care providers. Everything intended for the infant should be clean, functional and age appropriate. Knowing physical development markers are also important. For example, at one month a healthy baby can lift their head, maintain face to face contact, can follow a large object, will respond to familiar voices such as the father’s voice, laughs, smiles and react to sounds. In the final stages of infancy, from seven to twelve months, babies will sit without support, begin to crawl, pull up to stand and walk holding on to something, excel in hand eye coordination, speech will begin to develop with words like mama, dada, bye-bye, hot, uh oh, along with gibberish “conversations,” pointing, grasping objects, clapping hands, waves goodbye, and passes objects from hand to hand. 

Engaging in age appropriate physical activity with the child can help ensure these markers are a part of the child’s development. Parents should be encouraged to constantly interact with their child through physical manipulation, verbal encouragement, and be a good example of how to act. Most parents are naturals at this, but just in case a few techniques are needed review the following:
1. Daily full body massage after each bath
2. Reflexology on the hands and feet
3. Sitting the child up in the lap
4. Exercising arms and legs
5. Talk to the baby about everything so they hear voice and language
6. Infants should go outside for sun exposure daily to play ball or just take a brief walk


Mental Development
Assisting an infant in developing their mental skills begins immediately after birth. Helping them adapt to the world should be accomplished with loving care, patience and a constant flow of mental stimulation that feeds the rapidly growing brain cells. Mental development includes attention, creativity, concentration, identifying, imagination, memory, perception, and speech. 

Emotional Development
In the early stages of caring for an infant it is common for there to be an outpour of love to the new arrival, however as time moves along and the tasks involved in caring for the infant become more evident to the family, sometimes it can bring about stress that an unprepared family has a hard time dealing with. The goal for emotional development in the first year of life is to establish security and a peaceful existence. Some techniques to nurture the infant emotionally include:

Always speak softly
Always touch softly                    
Always respond quickly
Maintain closeness                
Give lots of hugs and kisses       
Always make eye contact
Immediately sooth anxiety
Avoid negative interactions around the baby
It’s ok to hold the baby all the time

These gestures of love and bonding will eliminate a fussy baby, create a happy infant that trusts and gives them the security to be unafraid of the world around them.

Spiritual Development
The spiritual development of an infant is simple. Surround them with positive energy. Live a balanced life or a life of good character as a reservoir of strength. Infants can be a part of the parent’s spiritual routines as well. Pray and meditate while holding the baby, attend a baby and parent yoga class, take the baby out into nature and allow them to learn about their connection to the earth, basically the baby can participate in everything that the parents do to consistently nurture their spiritual health. 

Remember to love and care for your babies with all you have. They grow up so fast!

Light and love,
Dr. Akua
March 19, 2019
Cape Coast, Ghana


About the Author: Dr. Akua Gray, ND is the author of numerous books on wellness, naturopathy and vegan nutrition. Her latest series of education manuals include Naturopathic Reiki Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and Detox Therapy: Detoxing Should Feel Good Too are available through bojakazhealthnetwork.combojakazhealthnetwork.com or Amazon. She is currently the primary curriculum developer for A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute and teaches an annual series of Naturopathic courses online and in person. Visit www.alifeofpeace.org 

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Parenting Principles of Maat

Do you need some new rules for parenting. A colleague of mine recently said the single parents and children from single parent homes need healing. I would also add that even some children and parents in two parent households need healing too.

What do you need to strengthen the relationship with your children?  Is it to develop more patience, spend more time, etc. Maat represents the enegry of balance in the universe that has been a part of African culture since the beginning of time. Often when one thinks of Maat, the 42 Laws come to mind, however there are also 7 principles of Maat that have served as simple guidelines for living a life of peace.

The Principles of Maat can help parents to create a platform to change their thoughts about what the whole child needs. Living these traditional and attainable principles strengthens the parent/child relationship and facilitates the unconditional bond of support.

Truth 
Have the intentions to be a cultivating protector of life.
Truth will be crucial in the development of the child, know the truth to be taught at every stage of development.  

Reciprocity 
With a mind of giving unconditionally, put all positive energies into everything that is spoken to, made for and intended for the child.
All good things will manifest back to the family and the world. 
Maintain a healthy diet to ensure the optimal health and development of the child.

Propriety 
Lead by example.
When the parents take on the role of proliferators it is important for the community to see and know that the development of all aspects of the child is taking place. 

Order
Exercise patience in the development and training of the child.
Space children apart so that each will have the full attention of the family for their formative years.

Balance
Time comes for all things to be born, grow and transition to the next realm of existence, be mindful of the time for rites of passage in the child’s life and be prepared to guide.

Righteousness 
Teach the laws of the creator, the laws of the land and their divine relationship with both so that their experiences are aligned with creative intention.
Balance in everything.

Harmony
Teach the relationship of the creator and the created, the relationship between man and nature, and the relationship between man and man.
Encourage mutual respect for all life. 


Here at A Life Of Peace, we are dedicating this year to uplifting families with minor children to help create cycles of love and care that elevate the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical well being of all of our children.  Stay tuned each month for tips, tokens of knowledge, activities and a wealth of information that will make you a better parent, grandparent, teacher and child care provider. It is time to break the cycles of post traumatic experiences and begin living as divine vessels of powerful love! 

Dr. Akua Gray and A Life Of Peace Wellness Institute Family.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Expanding Your Wellness Business to an International Market

Do you find that the wellness market in your area or community has become saturated with the latest trends in holistic health such as massage therapy, yoni steam, womb wellness, EFT, vegan food chefs, and beauty products? Do you know that health and wellness is needed around the globe and many international communities are open markets for modern and traditional ways of establishing and maintaining good health? If you have every thought of living and working abroad, get out your note pad for these 6 tips on Expanding Your Business to an International Market.



Working abroad in Ghana, West Africa has been both relaxing and profitable for us. We get to stay home at our three acre ocean front compound and students of wellness come and spend a weekend or two with us learning different modalities of naturopathy and holistic health while enjoying a cool Gulf of Guinea breeze and dining on the best vegan foods in the country. Here's how we did it.

1 Market research. Whatever country you're thinking of expanding to the first step is to do your market research. What types of wellness businesses are operating in the area of the country you are considering. It would be good to call and check to see how they are doing. This will ensure that you are not getting into another saturated market. Also make sure the market has the customers you want reach. This type of research also includes the possibility of language barriers  and cultural challenges.

2 Develop networking relationships. The idea of who you know can also be beneficial when expanding to international markets. Most times setting up a business, acquiring land, and employing workers is slightly different than what you may be accustomed to in your home state. Therefore, have a network of local associates and other business owners who have already operating in your country of interest can make the journey so much more pleasant and easy.

3. Learn the language. To be able to communicate with your customers in both their official language and their cultural language is a big plus. You can usually learn another language fast by studying at least five days a week for nine months to a year.

4. Consider relocating even if it's only temporary. Like with any successful business the hands on experience of putting it all together and nurturing the growth and development of the business takes time. Because the health and wellness is still new in many places worldwide and foreign businesses are required to hire a certain percentage of local employees, it is going to take some time to train and gauge the effectiveness of your employees to run a profitable business.

5. Learn local business regulations. Foreign businesses always have to go through a registration process with the local government. Unfortunately that often comes with a hefty registration fee. ensure that your register your business the correct way to avoid having your business shut down by government officials.

6. Assess your ability for a long term commitment. Success in an international market will take a long term financial plan. Your start up should include at least a year of being able to operate abroad and market effectively to get the word about your business out there.As with any start up the three year point would be about the time that you can expect to turn a profit if all goes well.

In many places around the world there are communities in need of the knowledge and service of good health that complementary and alternative holistic wellness can provide. Not only can it be good for your business to be a source of healing for those you will serve who otherwise may not have access to these types of services, but it can be a healthy living experience for you too. Enjoy life, love and good health as you help others too.

Light and love,
Dr. Akua
June 13, 2018
Houston, TX


About the Author: Dr. Akua Gray, ND is the author of numerous books on wellness, naturopathy and vegan nutrition. Her latest series of education manuals include Naturopathic Reiki Volumes 1, 2 and 3 and Detox Therapy: Detoxing Should Feel Good Too are available through bojakazhealthnetwork.com or Amazon. She is currently the primary curriculum developer for A Life Of Peace Wellness Education Institute and teaches an annual series of Naturopathic courses online and in person. Visit www.alifeofpeace.org