Wellness Link
HANS is a non-profit society dedicated to ensuring Canadians have knowledge of and access to the powerful and effective properties of natural, complementary and alternative medicines and therapies.

HANS Events

Supporting People with IBS due to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)

Join Dr. Leah Hassall, ND, in learning more about the most common cause of IBS: Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). It is estimated that up to 84% of cases of IBS are due to an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, which is typically almost sterile. For reasons that will be explored in this weekend workshop, some people will develop too much bacteria in the small intestine and experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating and changes in the frequency and consistency of bowel movements. Topics include when to suspect SIBO, how it is diagnosed, how it is treated and how to support people on a SIBO diet. Participants will leave with lecture handouts, supportive resources and experience in dietary consultation and meal planning for people with SIBO .

Contact: Alissa Woods

Mushroom Essences

In this weekend course, Robert will help navigate and explain the use of Mushroom Essences, for soul connection, and how clinicians may integrate this vibrational healing modality into their own practice. Mushroom essences are vibrational preparations produced from various parts of the fruiting bodies of the Kingdom Fungi. Most are polypores (spores released from pores), basidiomycetes (gilled mushrooms) and ascomycetes (cup fungi). Mushrooms represent the underworld, and under-belly energy of the planet. Unlike flower essences that bring (sun)light into areas of darkness, due to the solar connection; fungi are lunar, dark and mysterious. Like all manner of living beings, they express energetic fields, for those willing to observe, listen and feel. In turn, this vibration can be captured and used in clinical and private psychological work. Because no physical substance remains, they can do no harm. But in the hands of a skilled practitioner, mushroom essences can help peel away the steely bars of long-held, emotional and mental imprisonment. By giving the soul permission to express, one can free not only themselves to be more authentic, but can assist loved ones, friends, clients and patients on their own journey. Mushroom essences bring awareness to our shadowed side. They represent deep and difficult issues surrounding the “winter of the soul”. Flower essence practitioners will find mushroom essences create synergistic potential. Clare Harvey, an English practitioner put it well. “Mushroom essences are perfectly suited to match or complement flower essences. In these combinations, flower essences act on the emotional body, while mushroom essences carry these changes to the physical level, integrating the energy absorbed into the cells. As mushroom essences can have a very strong effect they need to be tested before use. They enter deep into our subconscious revealing deeply buried issues. Timing is all important when taking mushroom essences; the individual personality needs to be mature enough to cope with confrontation of deep issues and be able to process the information that is released.”

Contact: Alissa Woods

Whole-System Healing: Reconnecting Health Care with Social and Ecological Justice

This workshop will establish a profoundly holistic context for contemporary healing professions by investigating the linked phenomena of ecological and social unravelling and how they worsen or heal in relation to our health-care systems and choices. Through a focus on the interconnections between ecosystems, social determinants, cultural contexts and the individual experience of health, we will explore opportunities for community-level action with a view towards broad, systemic change. Participants will leave informed, inspired and equipped with practical resources for advancing their own initiatives or creating new ones together. Saturday: Health care and the earth body Our morning session will explore health care for humans with the entire web of life in mind. We will unpack the ecological implications of different conceptions of and approaches to health care by looking at: ecological literacy – our understanding of the natural systems that make life on earth possible; potential ecological impacts and downstream health effects of the production and use of both petrochemical- and plant-based medicines; and climate change and the future of health care. Our afternoon session will focus on reimagining health care as healing not only the individual but also the ecological community. Through case studies and shared participant experiences we will explore systems-based approaches that sustain and restore people by sustaining and restoring places. Sunday: Health care and the social body Our morning session will explore the complex factors that have impacted traditional healing systems and given rise to persistent inequities in health outcomes. We will explore: principles of social justice and decolonization, and the importance of understanding our own positionality as practitioners; the social determinants of health; the cultural contexts of health; and community engagement and dialogue for healing. Our final session will explore (re)emerging models of health care that aspire to address and heal the wounds in our collective social body. In discussions and group sessions, participants will have a chance to share their current initiatives or dreams for the future in order to seek support or opportunities for collaboration with others.

Contact: Alissa Woods

Understanding Vegan Nutrition

Learn to go vegan the right way. In this 2-day workshop we will cover in-depth nutrition strategies for how to thrive on vegan and plant-based diets. If you are not vegan yourself, you may end up working with clients that are already eating this way or would like to try it out but want to make sure they are doing it properly. Maybe you or your client have tried it before but didn’t feel well and would like to learn how to balance nutrient intake and address any digestion or absorption issues. The topics we will be covering include macronutrient balance, micronutrient balance, supplements, terminology and definitions of the different types of plant-based and vegan diets, the reasons more and more people are choosing to eat this way, vegan athletes, digestion, absorption, the gut microbiome, raw food, eating with the seasons, current trends and the future of veganism, and the doctors that have embraced and specialized in plant-based nutrition.

Contact: Alissa Woods

Collaborative Oncology Level 1

This weekend course will cover the following: What cancer is, how it starts, how it progresses, what goes wrong and what can be done to counteract the aberrant cell behaviors Cancer prevention and immune building protocols Why the liver is so important and how to support it Stress, Liver and the Immune system in cancer – materia medica for building the foundation (adaptogens, alteratives and immune tonics) How to read blood work and pathology reports, what other ways of testing are open to herbalists and how to assess the cancer patient. Saturday: Understanding the biomechanics of cancer – pathophysiology, disease initiation and progression Review of health foundations – liver & detox pathways, stress and adaptogens, immune support Sunday Assessing the cancer patient and specific treatment planning Individualizing the protocols – treatment planning: tests and assessments, stabilizing DNA, modulating growth factors, anti-angiogenesis, strengthening connective tissue, normalizing hormones Learning objectives: After completion of Holistic Oncology Level 1 the student shall be able to: Recognize and mitigate exogenous risk factors for cancer – diet, environment, stress Assess for and clinically control for endogenous risk factors for cancer – glycation, oxidative stress load, detoxification pathways, coagulopathies Assess for and clinically control co-morbidities and symptoms of cancer Create a comprehensive foundation treatment plan for a cancer patient, taking into account their unique oncologic typology Course Instructor

Contact: Alissa Woods

Quality Control, GMP, Toxicology and Scheduled Herbs

Saturday Quality Control and Good Manufacturing Practices for Herbalists From personal dispensary to full scale factory, there are numerous principles and practices that ensure safety, accuracy and accountability in herbal medicine. They are the least a consumer expects of you and they are mostly also required by law. This extensive review of the herbal industry will consider field and farming practices, harvesting and processing practices, how and where adulteration or contamination can occur and how to recognize it, hazard mitigation, traceability and transparency, regulations and requirements of law. It will include a practical session where students will learn to apply organoleptic skills to raw herbs. Class Outline: overview of the industry – what is selling, in what channels and how much? what is meant by ‘QC” adulteration, contamination, substitution Botanical Adulterants Program Organoleptic evaluation – including a break out session with a hands-on exercise Microscopic evaluation Product purity Plant variability Marker compounds Certificates of Analysis Good Agriculture Practices (GAP): Safety, quality assurance and traceability Natural Health Products and Health Canada regulations Good Manufacturing Practices – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Adverse Event reporting Learning Objectives: By completion of this class the student will: Be able to describe the key identifying features of good quality botanical products. Be able to identify hazard points in herbal manufacturing – where and why contamination or adulteration can occur and how to avoid it. Discuss manufacturing issues and regulatory affairs affecting the botanical market. Sunday Toxicology and Scheduled Herbs Discuss toxicology as it applies to botanicals, safety guidelines and adverse events. Review rules, regulations and practicing with botanicals in Canada – NHPD, NPNs and scheduled herbs. Consider the use of toxic botanicals and safe dosing strategies for a variety of herbs including: Aconitum napellus Cineraria maritima Bryonia spp Convallaria majalis Datura stramonium Digitalis purpurea Ephedra sinica Gelsemium sempervirens Hyoscyamus niger Phytolacca americana Piper methysticum Rauwolfia serpentine Veratrum album/viride Learning Objectives: By the end of this class students will be able to: Discuss safety issues with botanicals including herb / drug interactions and contra-indications Describe the safe and appropriate use of toxic botanicals and be able to recognize adverse effects. Describe the relative risk:benefit ratio of botanicals and use of toxics in clinical practice. Locate and comprehend schedules of restricted herbs in Canada. Understand why some herbs are scheduled and determine when and how those herbs may be used, under what circumstances. Course Instructor Chanchal Cabrera has been a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) since 1987 and obtained her MSc in herbal medicine at the University of Wales in 2003. Her clinical specialty is helping people manage cancer. Chanchal has held the faculty chair in Botanical Medicine at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in New Westminster since 2004. She serves on the board of advisors of Dominion Herbal College in Burnaby, on the editorial board of Medical Herbalism clinical newsletter and she publishes widely in professional journals and lectures internationally on medical herbalism, nutrition and health. Chanchal is the author of the book ‘Fibromyalgia – A Journey Toward Healing’ published by Contemporary Books. She is a certified Master Gardener and a certified Horticulture Therapist. Chanchal lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she and her husband farm 7 acres. They grow food for 10 households, culinary herbs for restaurants and medicinal herbs for her clinic. They also run therapy gardens for people with disabilities and host internships in organic farming and herbal medicine. In 2009 Chanchal was honored with a Fellowship in the NIMH for service to the profession over 25 years. Course Dates Saturday and Sunday, April 13-14, 2019, 9:00am- 5:00pm Course Tuition Regular – $300 (Early Bird – $285, until February 1) Students* – $275 (Early Bird – $250, until February 1) PRC Alumni – $285 (Early Bird – $265, until February 1) *PRC diploma students will receive 1 WHS academic credit for this workshop. Course Prerequisite BMS112 Botany/Horticulture (45 hours) or comparable course Course Registration To register, please click on the registration button below. Full payment is due at time of registration to confirm placement in the course. Payment can be made via MasterCard or Visa, debit, cash and cheque. Register here! » Withdrawal Policy For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person 30 days or more before the start of the course, registrants will receive a full tuition refund less a $40 non-refundable registration fee. For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person more than 14 days but less than 30 days before the start of the course, registrants will receive a 50% tuition refund. Without exception, no refunds will be given for course withdrawals less than 14 days before the start of the course.

Contact: Alissa Woods

Latest Natural News


2 November 2018 2:39AM
Winner of 8 festival awards, this Canadian documentary Modified investigates why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labelled on food products in the United States and Canada, despite being labelled in 64 countries around the world. Panel discussion to follow...

Health Action Newsletter Fall 2018

25 September 2018 10:16AM
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Vaccine Hesitancy

2 May 2018 1:41AM
A discussion to open up the conversation on vaccine safety, by Ted Kuntz, President of HANS...

Holistic Parenting Conference & Expo

1 May 2018 3:21PM
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UC Irvine aims to transform public health with record-breaking $200-million donation

26 September 2017 3:20AM
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Summer 2018 newsletter

News Letter

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