What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Indoor air pollution has become a serious problem. Discussions about indoor air quality emerged in the 1970s as a result of the energy crisis leading to home construction that was more efficient by way of being sealed up tight… and subsequently lacking ventilation.It’s common knowledge that the lack of ventilation is a detriment to air quality in indoor environments. How? Stagnant air inundates the occupants with a concentration of pollution that negatively impacts the respiratory system. Is it any surprise poor indoor air quality is associated with a cough, allergies, and a collective problem called sick building syndrome?

What is Sick Building Syndrome?

Sick building syndrome describes what happens when a combination of indoor air toxins and lack of ventilation meet the human respiratory system. Because the list of pollutants is so many, and their effects so varied, sick building syndrome has a multitude of symptoms and can rear its head in many ways. In general, however, the most prevalent symptoms include eye irritation and nonspecific upper respiratory symptom. Pollutants such as dust, mold, harmful organisms, bacteria, VOCs, toxic gasses, harmful compounds, and chemical vapors can all produce adverse effects. The combination of one or more of these pollutants can multiply the problem and any compound that can pollute the air can be a factor of sick building syndrome, they need not be inorganic “factory” chemicals. Fungi are “natural” but also an especially major biological pollutant in the indoor environment. As long as moisture and oxygen are available, the mold is able to grow. This leads to it being found on nearly any surface in a building, including carpets, ceiling tiles, insulations, any surfaces, wallpapers, or air conditioning systems. Indoor environments that provide exposure to fungus can cause health problems such as allergy, asthma, pneumonia, airway irritation, and many other different toxic effects.

What Factors Contribute to Sick Building Syndrome?

When air pollutants emanate from building materials and furnishings, they are trapped by the lack of ventilation and are left lingering for you to breathe in. Notable pollutants include VOCs and chemicals from simple and common household cleaners or even furniture. A Japanese study evaluated VOCs emitted from nine pieces of home furniture as potential sources of indoor air pollution. Researchers detected formaldehyde and results revealed that VOC emissions from furniture may significantly impact indoor air quality. Formaldehyde? On a couch?

Indoor Pollution Sources

Sick Building Syndrome
  1. Synthetic Insulation
  2. Poor Air Circulation
  3. Lack of Fresh Air
  4. Smoke
  5. Paint Fumes
  6. Dust mites
  7. Synthetic Carpet Outgassing
  8. Pet Dander
  9. Toxic Household Cleaners
  10. Fabric Outgassing
  11. Natural Gas/CO2
  12. Construction Materials
  13. Bacteria From Toilet Bowl
  14. Mold & Mildew
  15. Lead or Toxic Paint
  16. Carbon Monoxide
  17. Oil & Gas Fumes

How Common is Sick Building Syndrome?

Although it’s mainly limited to developed nations, sick building syndrome has become a global problem and received global attention. An examination of 37 buildings throughout California found that all of the buildings had very ineffective filtering systems. Furthermore, many buildings failed to meet ventilation standards. Is it for lack of codes or lack of enforcement? Well, researchers called for regulators to implement more complete building inspections.

Effects on the Workplace

Part of the reason for sick building syndrome receiving so much attention is because it can have horrible and disastrous consequences for workplace productivity. It makes sense, symptoms of SBS are often direct causes for increased absenteeism and can also progress to situations of a class-action magnitude. Recently, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health was asked to evaluate a water-damaged office building where 1300 employees worked and reported respiratory problems, specifically airway irritation. Of course, symptoms were thought to be building related.  Other research has also found that dampness and mold in workplace buildings lead to increased incidence of SBS and reports of bronchial redness.

The Office of Workforce and Career Development at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta examined data collected from employees who were working in a water-damaged building during ongoing repairs and observed no improvement in their respiratory health. They concluded that when a work environment is polluted, it’s not enough to fix the problem as you go along. Relocating everyone to better conditions, while repairs are made, is necessary to create a situation where respiratory health may improve.

Some might expect hospitals to be exempt from indoor air quality problems, right? Well, surprisingly, a survey by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that hospital staff experiences indoor air-related symptoms more even often than office workers! Because of the unique environmental needs of hospitals, they recommended the development of a model for resolving indoor air problems.  I agree the effects of inhaling air contamination are absolutely indisputable, especially those with compromised immune systems. Every hospital should have a task force specifically created to address air quality problems.

How to Confront Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome is a compound problem. When a building lacks ventilation, harmful air pollutants build up to horrible levels and lead to respiratory (and other) problems. Alleviating the problem has to be, at a minimum, a one-two attack. First, ventilation must be increased! Open the window, turn on a fan, consider an air exchange system! Second, reduce the sources of air pollution! As some pollutants are natural byproducts of nature (skin dander), complete removal is difficult… but you can make a world of difference by switching to organic cleaning products, only purchasing organic home furnishings and use non-toxic building materials. Using an efficient air purification system may also help purify your air and remove toxic invaders. Natural versions of Lysol may also be underway. Cedar leaf oil, from the Western red cedar, was evaluated in a Canadian Study as a safe cleansing agent for applications in buildings. Specifically, the alleviation of sick building syndrome.  Your lungs are constantly working and if you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time in your home and workplace – be proactive in making sure the air you breath is clean, healthy, and satisfying.

Tips for Reducing Indoor Air Pollution

Just as you drink pure water, isn’t it vital to ensure the air you breath is also clean and pure? Everyone can benefit from breathing cleaner air, and many people suffer horribly because of air pollution. It’s common for people to spend 75% of their time in their home and the sources of air pollution in a home can be many. Air pollution can happen during immediate emergency situations, such as a gas leak. It can also be slow, chronic, and less apparent; as with out-gassing of paints, fabrics, and upholstery. There are also biological toxins such as dust mites, pet dander, mold, and mildew.

The variation in chemicals and pollutants can produce a range of effects. For some people, these pollutants bring on headaches, others experience sinus congestion or coughing, and allergic rhinitis is not unheard of. Arguably, most “elevated” attacks are the result of exposure to multiple pollutants all at once, as may happen when painting in a non-ventilated room. But what about the allergies and asthma and other respiratory ailments that are exacerbated by constant exposure to air pollutants?

The Argument for Ventilation

Open your windows! Creating circulation is so important. The recent emphasis on energy conservation has caused homes to be constructed in an air-tight, sealed way; this traps pollutants right in your home. Ventilation can help remove the pollution. The Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute in New Jersey studied indoor air pollution and lung function and their conclusions directly cited improved ventilation as a means to reduce harmful effects of indoor air pollution.

Tips to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

Have your HVAC system cleaned regularly. The effectiveness of HVAC duct cleaning procedures in improving indoor air quality was examined by Florida International University in Miami; evidence suggested cleaning the system was beneficial.

Replace toxic or chemical-based cleaning products with natural, organic alternatives. There are options available and most appropriate stores carry at least a few of them. Or, make your own- vinegar and baking soda works great on drains.

house plant

Avoid the fragrant, aerosol spray cans. Instead, use essential oils with a diffuser. Lavender, lemongrass, and tea tree or orange-blossom oil work great and don’t contain any air-polluting chemicals. You can also dilute oils in distilled water and use a spray bottle for a chemical-free home or office spray.

Plants are natural air purifiers and great home decor. A study from NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America found that plants suck in toxic chemicals through their leaves, and the roots and soil bacteria remove trace levels of toxic vapors.

As your budget allows, when replacing larger items, begin switching over to chemical-free, non-toxic furniture and bedding. Buy natural wooden furniture, not particleboard.

The Quick and Easy

  • If you smoke, stop.
  • To discourage mold and mildew, keep humidity levels low.
  • Regularly check your fuel-burning appliances for leaks.
  • Invest in a quality indoor air purifier, air filtration is one of the most feasible methods to improve IAQ.

Enjoy the Cumulative Benefits of Breathing Clean Air

Breathing cleaner air isn’t just for folks with asthma, allergies, or children. As much as doing it for the kids warms the cockles of our hearts, the fact is that we ALL can benefit from breathing cleaner air, especially over the long term; research proves it. A Brazilian study evaluated situations where ventilation had been in place for greater than 20 years; researchers found that the long-term air-conditioning offered a protective effect against the building-related worsening of respiratory symptoms.

Medicinal Motherwort

My first experience with motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) was enough to make me a life-long believer of this plant’s supportive actions. I was going through a particularly stressful period of time.

I mentioned my symptoms to a herbalist friend, who suggested I try motherwort. The following day, I did just that. I diluted 2 dropper fulls of motherwort tincture in a small amount of water, drank it, and then returned to my work. About 20 minutes later, my cyclical and stressful thoughts of “Hurry up! Hurry up! You’re on deadline!” started to surface. Almost immediately, however, those thoughts seemed to hit a wall and it felt as though I was being reminded that I didn’t need to go down that anxious road. That mental wall was so obvious that it actually took me off guard and I had to remind myself that I’d recently taken a bit of motherwort tincture. Up to that point, my other experiences with plant-based medicines had been more gentle and gradual, so I was pretty taken aback. As a result of such clear and obvious personal results, motherwort is now my go-to plant ally for helping to ease nervous tension.

Motherwort’s Healing Properties

After my positive experience with motherwort, I planted the herb in my garden and began familiarizing myself with the plant’s other benefits. I learned that, as I had experienced, motherwort is a supportive nervine, helping to release the anxiety and tension that accompany stress. It’s approved by the German Commission E for nervous cardiac disorders and for thyroid hyperfunction. It’s also a sedative, diuretic, hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), emmenagogue (stimulates or increases menstrual flow), and antispasmodic.

“Wort” means “to heal,” and as the common name “motherwort” implies, the plant has been used by mothers for centuries and was a common component in midwives baskets. According to herbalist Susan Weed, one of the motherwort’s uses is to reduce anxiety associated with childbirth, postpartum depression, and menopause (but should not be taken during pregnancy due to its emmenagogue properties). In traditional Chinese medicine, motherwort is combined with dong quai to help regulate the menses cycle and reduce symptoms of PMS.

The plant’s botanical name, Leonurus cardiac, means “lion-hearted” and is thought to relate to either the flower spike’s resemblance to a lion’s tail or the plant’s traditional use as a cardiac tonic. Motherwort’s common and botanical names combine to provide wonderful clues to its healing properties. After taking my first motherwort tincture I felt exactly as though a protective, lion-hearted mother stood over me and said, “Listen up. I love you, but you need to calm down and drop this stressful attitude. Enough is enough.” That impression gave me the strength and courage to carry on with a better attitude and a braver heart.

Motherwort is a bitter, spicy, and slightly cooling herb. It can be taken as an infusion; however, because it’s so bitter, you may consider turning your infusion into syrup by adding honey or sugar. The aerial parts can also be tinctured, which is my preferred method for ingesting this helpful herb.

motherwort with tincture

How to Grow Motherwort

A member of the mint family (Lamiaceae), motherwort is a hardy perennial in zones 3 to 8. It’s native to southeastern Europe and central Asia, and it’s believed that colonists introduced motherwort to the United States in the 19th century.  It has naturalized over the years to the point where it’s now considered invasive in some areas. For this reason, consider growing motherwort in pots or in a spot where you can keep it contained.

Motherwort prefers well-drained soil and a partly shady location. It has a clumping habit, and its flowers will reach up to 5 feet tall. You can direct sow motherwort seeds in fall or early spring; however, I typically have better luck starting perennial plants from seed indoors and then transplanting them to prepared garden beds in spring after all danger of frost has passed. If you’re going to sow motherwort seeds in spring or indoors, give them a period of cold treatment (stratification) for a few weeks, which will trick them into thinking they’ve gone through winter and are ready for spring growth. Seeds should germinate in 2 to 3 weeks, at which point they can be thinned or transplanted to 2 to 3 feet apart. Keep the established plant well watered, and trim back the flowering tops to prevent this self-seeding plant from taking over your garden.

To use, harvest the aboveground parts when the plant is in full bloom, which should be anytime between late June and August. Tincture immediately or dry the leaves and stems to use at a later time.

For more information, see Susan Weed’s excellent entry on Motherwort. Her article includes recipes for an herbal blend for premenstrual support, which combines motherwort, crampbark, chaste berries, and oat straw, along with a recipe for “Cool as a Cucumber Tea,” which helps ease the discomfort of hot flashes.

What to Do In a Mental Health Emergency

Many people are confused about what to do in the face of a mental health emergency. What constitutes a mental health emergency? As with any medical emergency, a mental health emergency can be life threatening. Most of the time mental health emergencies are those involving the threat of suicide or the occurrence of an actual suicide attempt. Other types of mental health emergency may involve the threat of harm to another person. In a situation where a patient is decompensating or becoming psychotic and is being guided by audio/visual hallucinations, it is sometimes possible that there is a threat posed to another person. This is relatively rare but it can happen if someone is extremely agitated, on hallucinatory drugs or is in the grip of an extremely serious psychotic episode with paranoid thoughts that others are planning to harm the individual.

Friends, family, and neighbors are often confused about what to do in the event of such an emergency because they do not who to call for help. Generally, people expect to call their doctor’s office and get an emergency appointment if someone has a high fever or another type of physical symptom. However, it mostly unlikely that anyone can call their psychiatrist for an appointment under the circumstances above. Most psychiatrists are not equipped to handle emergencies in their private offices. That is why when people attempt to call their therapist during off hours they usually hear a recorded message instructing them to go to the emergency room in the event of a crisis.

When someone is in the midst of a severe emotional crisis characterized by suicidal or homicidal intent it is unlikely that they will willingly go to the emergency room even if accompanied by a friend or family member. That is why it is most often necessary to call emergency services at 911 and report that someone is in danger of attempting suicide or has already swallowed pills, cut themselves or done something life threatening. Emergency services in most communities will then send both the police and an EMT ambulance to the site of the reported threat. Both police and the EMT workers will assess the situation and decide whether or not the person needs hospitalization. If the threat is deemed as serious as the phone call indicated they will bring the patient to the hospital emergency room where they will undergo further evaluation and wait until arrangements are made in a local psychiatric facility. Once moved to a psychiatric hospital the patient will be medicated and stabilized until the crisis has passed. The treatment usually includes meetings with the psychiatrist and attendance at group psychotherapy sessions. Once the patient is deemed safe the psychiatric hospital will either return the person home with medication and with recommendations for continued treatment. This process includes meetings with the family members of the patient.

It is extremely important that threats of suicide be taken seriously. This is especially true if the threats have been voiced repeatedly or the person is inebriated or under the influence of drugs. It is a dangerous myth to believe that suicide threat are harmless attempts to get attention. I know of a recent case in which someone repeatedly threatened suicide, no one would listen and the individual, in despair, succeeded in their suicide attempt.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.

Understanding the issues concerning suicide and mental health is an important way to take part in suicide prevention, help others in crisis, and change the conversation around suicide.

We Believe

Hope Can Happen

Suicide is not inevitable for anyone. By starting the conversation, providing support, and directing help to those who need it, we can prevent suicides and save lives.

We Can All Take Action

Evidence shows that providing support services, talking about suicide, reducing access to means of self-harm, and following up with loved ones are just some of the actions we can all take to help others.

Crisis Centers are Critical

By offering immediate counseling to everyone that may need it, local crisis centers provide invaluable support at critical times and connect individuals to local services.

Know the Risk Factors

Risk factors are characteristics that make it more likely that someone will consider, attempt, or die by suicide. They can’t cause or predict a suicide attempt, but they’re important to be aware of.

  • Mental disorders, particularly mood disorders, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and certain personality disorders
  • Alcohol and other substance use disorders
  • Hopelessness
  • Impulsive and/or aggressive tendencies
  • History of trauma or abuse
  • Major physical illnesses
  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • Family history of suicide
  • Job or financial loss
  • Loss of relationship(s)
  • Easy access to lethal means
  • Local clusters of suicide
  • Lack of social support and sense of isolation
  • Stigma associated with asking for help
  • Lack of healthcare, especially mental health and substance abuse treatment
  • Cultural and religious beliefs, such as the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Exposure to others who have died by suicide (in real life or via the media and the Internet)

Know the Warning Signs

Some warning signs may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change. If you or someone you know exhibits any of these, seek help by calling the Lifeline.

  • Talking about wanting to die or to kill themselves
  • Looking for a way to kill themselves, like searching online or buying a gun
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or isolating themselves
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Extreme mood swings

Find Behavioral Health Services

Utah Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse

The Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) was created as Utah’s substance abuse and mental health authority. DSAMH oversees the publicly funded prevention and treatment system. If you, a friend, or family member is struggling with a mental health problem or a problem with alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, there is help available

SAMHSA National Helpline

1-800-662-HELP (4357)
TTY: 1-800-487-4889

Also known as, the Treatment Referral Routing Service, this Helpline provides 24-hour free and confidential treatment referral and information about mental and/or substance use disorders, prevention, and recovery in English and Spanish

Other Crisis Resources

Veterans Crisis Line

1-800-273-8255 / Press 1
Text to 838255

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255
TTY 1-800-799-4889

Trevor Lifeline

1-866-488-7386

The Trevor Project provides support to LGBTQ young people 24/7.

Utah Domestic Violence LINKLine

1-800-897-LINK (5465)

University of Utah Statewide Crisis Hotline

801-587-3000, TTY: 801-587-8511

The Warm Line

801-587-1055 – 3:00p – 11:00p

The Warm Line is a recovery support line available daily from 3 p.m.–11 p.m. Certified peer specialists provide callers within Salt Lake County with support, engagement, and encouragement. They promote wellness in a nonjudgmental and respectful manner by listening, empowering a person to resolve his or her own problem, and fostering a sense of hope, dignity, and self-respect.

Crises Services

Help Is Available

If you or someone you know is in a life threatening emergency
or in immediate danger of harming themselves, please call 911.CIT-Logo

If you are requesting help for a mental health crisis when calling 911 ask for a CIT (Crisis Intervention Team) Officer- they are specially training to help with someone in a mental health crisis.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

Find Local Crisis Support

Mental Health Crisis Lines operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are open to anyone needing mental health crisis services.

Click on the map above for crisis counseling, mental health information, and referrals in your county. All calls are confidential and may be made anonymously.

http://utahsuicideprevention.org/map/map.html

County Crisis Phone Number
Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane (800) 574-6763
Box Elder (435) 452-8612
Cache, Rich – After Hours (435) 752-0750(435) 757-3240
Carbon (435) 637-0893
Davis (801) 773-7060
Daggett, Uintah (435) 828-8241
Duchesne (435) 823-6823
Emery 911 or (435) 381-2404
Grand (435) 259-8115
Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne After Hours (800) 523-7412(877)-469-2822
Salt Lake UNI (801) 587-3000
San Juan (435) 979-1588
Summit (435) 649-9079
Tooele (435) 882-5600
Utah (801) 373-7393
Wasatch (801) 318-4016
Washington (435) 634-5600
Weber & Morgan (801) 625-3700

Grandmother Moon Teachings ~ May Flower Moon

May
Flower Moon
Is where all plants display their Spirit sides for all the world to see. This life giving energy is one of the most powerful healing medicines on Mother Earth. During this moon, we are encouraged to explore our Spiritual essences.
moon namesGrandmother Moon Teaching
Native people understand that everything in Creation has spirit. The plants, the trees, the water, the wind, the rocks and the mountains have spirit. The sky worlds, including the moon and other planets, have spirit. All of these are part of our first family, the natural world. The moon is called Grandmother Moon, in the Anishinawbe world; we referred to her Nokomis our Grandmother Moon. Great respect is given to her. For a woman who has experienced domestic violence or sexual assault, it is important she knows the power Grandmother Moon which can give her healing and balanced energy. Women can ask Grandmother Moon for direction in life, for wisdom, and for help for her children and others. Some teachings say that when the moon is full, women can ask Grandmother Moon to give them energy. Around the full moon, women on their moon time become very intuitive. It is an opportunity for women to take time for themselves to help foster their intuition and to have strong dreams. Grandmother Moon controls all female life. Much of the water life spawns according to the cycles of the moon. When the moon is full, women may participate in a ceremony to honor and seek guidance from Grandmother Moon. The ceremony can be simple. A woman can sit on the ground and ask Grandmother Moon to replenish her body with new energy. She takes water with her when she asks the Moon to bless her. The water then becomes her medicine.
Grandmother Moon Ceremony
Ceremonies are held in many communities every full moon to honor Grandmother Moon and all of female life. It is held either on the Full Moon or two days before or after the Full Moon, depending on the teachings given to the women in a particular community. Women may gather in a circle, from the youngest to the oldest, representing the life journey from infancy to old age. They drum and sing. Water is prayed for and shared. Tobacco and cloth are placed in the fire, along with the sharing of feast food. The women pray for the cleansing of the earth, as the water, the lakes, rivers, and oceans, constitute women’ responsibility. Their prayers are for continued life. Recognition of the Moon in the Calendar The cycles of the moon determine our yearly calendar. The changes that come with each passing moon indicate the times for planting, harvesting, hunting and gathering. In the Anishnawbe calendar, the names of each month include the word ‘moon’ and reflect the close connection between the cycles of the moon and the plant and animal life on Turtle Island. The names of the Moons vary according to Tribe and what is taking place in their region.
Gichi-Manidoo-Giizis (January) • The Great Spirit Moon Namebini-Giizis (February) • Sucker Moon Onaabani-Giizis (March) • Moon of the Hard Crust Snow Bebookwedaagimag-Giizis (April) • Moon of the Broken Snowshoes Waabigoonii-Giizis (May) • Flowers Blooming Moon Ode’mini-Giizis (June) • Strawberry Moon Aabita-Niibing-Giizis (July) • Midsummer Moon Manoominike-Giizis (August) • Rice Harvest Moon Baatebagaawang-Giizis (September) • Drying Up Leaves and Plants Moon Binaakwe-Giizis (October) • Leaves Falling Down Moon Gashkadino-Giizis (November) • Frozen Over Moon Mnidoo-Giizoons (December) • Moon of the Little Spirit
Grandmother Moon:
The Female Energy
It is said that Grandmother Moon watches over the waters of the Earth. We see this in her regulating of the tides. Grandmother Moon controls all female life. Much of the water life spawns according to the cycles of the moon. Just as Grandmother Moon watches over the waters of the Earth, it is said that women watch over the waters of the people. Water always comes before new life. Moontime It is said that Grandmother Moon is especially close to women because she governs the woman’s cleansing cycle, the natural cycle of menstruation known as the moon time. The moon cycle is a gift to women. It is a time to cleanse herself mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually and to prepare for new life. It is considered a time of power, second only to the ability of the Great Spirit to give life. That is how strong that power is. Some teachings say that when women are on their moon time, the Creator comes closer to them. When women are on their moon time, their power is at its strongest and this is acknowledged in that they do not prepare foods or medicines, take part in ceremonies or use the pipes and other sacred items.
The moon time is a ceremony of life for women and a time for renewal and reflection. It is a time for women to rest, relax and to take care of themselves. In some families, all the chores are done by other family members. It is a time for women to think about themselves, their families, their relatives and pray for anyone they think needs help.
Honoring First Moontime
In the past, when a young woman had her first moon time her aunts or grandmothers would take her to a small lodge where she would be close to the natural world. The young woman is sacred at that time. She is now able to give life. She would be given the teachings about her new life from her mother, grandmothers or aunts. She would be taught about her role as a woman in the community. This is also a time for fasting and learning about the beauty and strength of women. Some women also go on a berry fast at this time, honoring the life and our sacred berries. These ceremonies still exist with Tribes and families keeping this traditionally.
All women are to be respected and honored.