Sunday, July 8, 2018

Our first annual "Retreat to the Lake" is a GO!!!

Wow, I'm so excited about the response I've gotten regarding the retreat idea!  It seems like there are so many, like me, who would love to get together and share their stores, struggles and triumphs and enjoy the benefits of the healing minerals of Soap Lake.  The responses on Facebook have been so encouraging for me, so I am going ahead and making it official -

"Retreat to the Lake"
September 7-9, 2018
Soap Lake, WA

Several of my Facebook friends have been asking questions about the lake, its history, its location, accommodations and rates, so I have put together some information that I hope will be of help to you.  If you have any more questions or just want to chat with me, you can contact me at olsonherbalist@aol.com or text at 360.319.1669.

Location
Nestled in the heart of central Washington, surrounded by beautiful dessert countryside, velvet hills, blue skies and fresh, clean air is the little town of Soap Lake.  Geographically it is approximately six miles northeast of Ephrata and 22 miles northwest of Moses Lake at the intersections of State Hwy 17 and 28.  It is a very small and quiet town which provides the perfect respite for healing and relaxation.

Mineral Content of the Lake
 Soap Lake is the last in the chain of lakes running down the Coulee Corridor along State Hwy 17.  Of the five lakes that comprise the Coulee Corridor, Soap Lake has the highest mineral content.  Soap Lake is unique in that it is one of only eleven meromictic lakes in the United States.
 “The first layer of Soap Lake is made up of about 81 feet of mineral water; the second level is mud-like and consists of a stronger mineral composition with concentrations of unusual substances and microscopic life forms. The lake’s two layers have not mixed in thousands of years. The scientific community refers to lakes with this rare condition as meromictic.
With only eleven meromictic lakes in the United States, Soap Lake is likely the most radical of all. The scientific community is currently exploring the lake to document some of the unusual qualities. The mineral content of Soap Lake water has been analyzed many times throughout the last 95 years. Concentration of different minerals has changed throughout this time. The most recent analysis was conducted in 2000.”  (Wikipedia-Soap Lake, WA)

Mineral
Milligrams/Liter
5760
2480
2540
3840
2290
504
Organic nitrogen
0.9
7.2
6.3
0.7
2.5
2.9



“The mineral-rich waters of Soap Lake have long been thought to have medicinal value. In fact, it is said that rival Indian tribes would call a truce when they came to Soap Lake to relax and heal themselves and their animals. This is verified by recorded history and the number of Indian artifacts found in the area over the years. Washington State tourist guides in the 1920’s referred to Soap Lake as the world's greatest mineral sea, and people afflicted with Buerger's disease found that bathing in the lake would cure their illnesses.  (Wikipedia-Soap Lake, WA)
Early visitors to Soap Lake came from all over the United States and even countries abroad to soak in the lake and find help in the local sanitariums and bath houses.  In 1938, the government realized the value of Soap Lake mineral water for the healing of Buerger’s disease and funded McKay Hospital to be built in the little desert town as a resource to help bring relief to the returning veterans of war suffering from the disease.
Today Soap Lake is visited by many people seeking relief from their psoriasis, eczema and other skin disorders as well as the many forms of arthritis.  The alkaline quality of the lake is said to bring soothing relief and healing to these diseases when other avenues of healing have failed.  Others seek the healing water for relaxation and rejuvenation or as a health retreat.  On any given day, in the warmth of the summer sun, you will see people on the beach covered in the mineral rich mud of the lake of a quality which rivals any health spa in the world.

Climate
The climate in Soap Lake is fairly mild receiving approximately 8 inches of rain per year.  Winter temperatures will range from lows of 20 to 30 degrees and with highs around 40 to 58.  The average snowfall is around 19 inches.  The area boasts of approximately 191 sunny days per year with the months of July and August being your warmest--ranging from 85 to 105 degrees.  While the summer months are wonderful for enjoying the coolness of the lake and hanging out in the sun, you will find that spring and fall are very mild, peaceful and restorative for your health.

Services
John’s Food Market
Lakeside Bistro
Coulee Cruisers Restaurant
Cloudview Kitchen
La Cucina di Sophia (opening soon)
Daisy Street Espresso
Del-Red Pub & Eatery
Mom’s European Deli
Healing Water Spa


Lodging
The lodging possibilities at Soap Lake vary.  There are campsites for tents and RV’s, tipis, cabins, motel rooms and a resort consisting of a historic inn and log cabins with unique western themes, as well as several Airbnb’s.  There is something for everyone and every need!

Soap Lake, Washington
Soap Lake Natural Spa and Resort
509.246.0462
800.524.0558     www.soaplakeresort.com

Please note - When booking a room at the Soap Lake Natural Spa and Resort, please mention “Retreat to the Lake” and you will be given a special discount complete with a free breakfast.

Masters Inn & Retreat
509.246.1831    
www.mastersinnsoaplake.com

Smokiam City Campground
509.246.1211    
www.soaplakecity.org

Soap Lake RV Resort
509.246.0413      
http://soaplakervresort.com

Also, a great resource on the HISTORY of Soap Lake can be found at www.cityofsoaplake.org.

Can't wait to meet you at our first annual "Retreat to the Lake"!

'til next time,  
Mary





Saturday, July 7, 2018

Retreat to the Lake? Why Not!!!

It is July 7 and the weather at the lake is in the high 80's and low 90's.  The lake is warm, the sun is out and it is absolutely wonderful for relaxing on the beach and soaking in the healing water.

As I was taking my morning dip in the lake, I was thinking of how wonderful it would be if others with this frustrating disease could come to the lake and enjoy it too.  Then my mind drifted to how awesome it would be to have a weekend when we could all get together and share our struggles, treatments, diets, frustrations, thoughts, etc., and just encourage and learn from each other.  I know there are times when I feel I struggle alone.  Maybe you feel that way too. 

So...my thought is why don't we give this a try.  How about we set aside the weekend of September 7-9, 2018 for a trip to Soap Lake to meet with other people with skin issues.  It could be a wonderful retreat and a time of relaxing, sharing, learning and getting to know each other.  I'd love to introduce you to "my" lake and teach you how it can help and even heal your skin.  I'd love to have you try the "mud" and get your reactions to its healing power. I'd love to sit and brain storm with each of you about how we can help each other heal and reach out to others who are suffering alone.  Let's try this!!!

So I'm inviting all of you who would love to have a weekend of relaxing and sharing, to come to the lake.  We have several options for accommodations - The Soap Lake Natural Spa and Resort, The Master's Inn, The Smokiam RV Resort (with TiPi's, modulars, tent spaces and a fresh water pool) and the Soap Lake City RV Park (with tenting areas).  There are also several very nice Airbnb options available in the area as well.

ComfyTipi accomodations
TiPi Village at Smokiam RV Resort

The Master's Inn with wonderful lake views
If you are interested in a retreat at the lake in September, please comment below or you can email me at olsonherbalist@aol.com.  Let's give this a try and see what awesome fun we can have!  I'm looking forward to hearing your ideas!

'Til next time,

Mary




Sunday, June 10, 2018

At The Lake Again!

I've been gone from my blog for such a long time and I've really missed sharing with all of you. My absence has been a combination of so many things happening in my life, i.e., several reconstructive eye surgeries and the passing of my husband.  So many emotions and life changing events have had me functioning on a less than productive level, but now I'm back at Soap Lake and ready for another wonderful, healthy and healing summer!

Right now it is early June and the lake is warming.  I've been going in it daily and it is a little chilly at first, but after a few minutes it feels so refreshing.  The weather is very warm and nice here.  It's been hovering in the mid 80's and it is so beautiful.  It's so awesome to see the dessert start to come alive with the wild flowers and different hues of green on the cliffs surrounding the lake.  I always marvel at the contrast of scenery from the west side of the state to the central area.  Both so different and yet so amazingly beautiful.

Once again we have opened our doors at the psoriasis research and documentation center for all who would love to come and be a part of our two week protocol study.  It is basically just two weeks of soaking in the healing mineral water, applying the mud and basking in the sunshine.  Not hard work at all, but so rewarding.  We welcome all who are frustrated with their current psoriasis treatment or just frustrated with the disease and not knowing how to work your daily lives around it.  Please come and talk with us.  If you can't do a two week study, that's fine.  Come and check out the lake, talk with us and then document your findings.  That will be of great help to us in this process.

Notaras Lodge
Soap Lake Inn

There have been some changes in the housing industry here at the lake.
Both the Soap Lake Inn and Notaras Lodge have a new owner.  It is now the Soap Lake Natural Resort and Spa.  It has combined both the Inn and Lodge together as one.  It has so much to offer, but the
greatest is that it has the healing mineral water available right in the bathtub in your private room.  That folks is such a luxury!!  Please take the time to look them up online.                                    (www.soaplakeresort.com).

As the summer progresses, I have several ideas about bringing more people with psoriasis to our area.  I'd love to have a retreat where those of us with these frustrating sores can get together and just talk about how we cope and what works for us.  I'm just beginning to think through what this process looks like.  If you would like to see this happen, please let me know.  I'd love comments regarding this idea and how it can be of help to so many struggling sufferers.

'til next time (and hopefully it won't be too long!)

Mary


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Loving It At The Lake!



I finally did it!  I retired from Western Washington University on July 31, 2016 and started my new venture at Soap Lake, WA.  I arrived in Soap Lake on August 2 tired and beat, but since then I have been regaining my strength as I thoroughly enjoy each and every day here allowing myself to relax and start a new stage of my life.


Soap Lake has always been a place where I am able to let go of tension and stress and find healing for my skin.   The minerals in the lake water instantly cause me to de-stress.  When I wade out in the water until it is up to my neck, I can almost feel my muscles letting go of the tension that has been holding them so tight.  I don’t know which mineral it is, or if it is just the combination of all of them, but my body is so much more at peace, as I swim and play in the water.  It is almost like my pores just drink in the water and go – ahhhhhhh!  I love it and the water seems to love me too!

When I came over to the lake, my sores were about 60% covering my body.  I have only been in the water for over a week and I’m seeing huge results.  A lot of spots are healing up and some have gone from being angry red to a light pink.  I’m excited about the changes already and know more will be happening soon.  I have tried to get in the water two times a day.  I usually go in around 9:00 in the morning and 7:30 at night.  I stay away from the really hot hours of the day, because I don’t want to burn and make my sores worse and I don’t want any more cancer on my face! 

The weather has been awesome here, about 90 to 96 degrees each day.  Very warm for someone like me that comes from the cooler, wetter side of Washington state, so I have to be careful not to burn.  I don’t like using sunscreen, because it keeps the mineral water from saturating my cells and I want to make sure I get the most out of each dip in the lake.

While being here the last week or so, I have met some really awesome people. A lot of wonderful locals have stopped by to welcome us and one evening I even had a retired firefighter from California stop by the center to talk about psoriasis and the lake.  He had read about Soap Lake online and decided to drive up and give it a try.  It was awesome just to sit and tell him about the lake and compare notes on psoriasis and how it has affected his life.  I also had a dear gal stop by that was the former massage therapist in town, but has since moved to Mexico and started her business down there.  She was a wonderful resource of information for me!  Thanks Margo!!

Another of the great experiences I’ve had was attending the Soap Lake Conservancy meeting last Saturday morning.  It was so wonderful to be with a group of people who have a history of caring for the lake and trying to keep it natural and healthy for everyone to enjoy.  While at the meeting I met the mayor Raymond Gravelle who has a great love for Soap Lake and is working very hard to make it the best little town in Central Washington. 

Also, I had the privilege of meeting the owners and operators of “Soap Lake for Locals” (www.soaplakeforlocals.com) a website that covers all the happenings of the area.  They were so gracious and brought Felicity and I a beautiful plant as a welcome gift from the Soap Lake Chamber of Commerce.  Thanks so much Eileen and Burr for all you do to keep all of us informed on the news around town.  Then there was the great church services on Sunday mornings, as I attended the little Soap Lake 1st Baptist Church and met a wonderful group of people who were so friendly and welcoming to me.

All in all, it has been a full couple of weeks getting settled in at the center, but one so full of promise and vision of great things ahead.  Thank you to everyone who has made our opening of the healing center so positive for us.  We love you all!!! 


Till next time ~ Mary 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Welcome Sangeeta to the Healing Center!


It has been a beautiful weekend at Soap Lake.  I have been so privileged to be able to spend a couple days here at the healing center before I have to head back to work Monday morning.  The weather has been in the upper 70’s low 80’s with a slight wind and it just feels good on my poor old, weary bones!!  Last night I went for a dip in the lake and the water was warm like bathwater and so refreshing.

 Tomorrow will be a fun day for me.  I will be reunited with a fellow psoriatic sufferer and dear friend that I met here at the lake about eight years ago.  She is from British Columbia, Canada and we were both staying at the Inn and found we both had something in common-psoriasis.  She, Sangeeta, had read about the lake online and had made the trip down from BC to see if it could help her.  We become fast friends and have kept in touch over the years. 

 Now, I’m excited to share, that Sangeeta will be joining Felicity and me in helping out at the healing center.  She will be taking turns staying at the center and helping with other sufferers that come to the lake looking for help just as we both did years ago. 

 Sangeeta will be coming down tomorrow and staying until the end of the month.  She has also worked up a food/diet protocol that is specifically for psoriatic clients and I for one am excited to try it soon.  Sangeeta is a very valuable asset to our team and I am so happy to welcome her to the Mercy Apostol Psoriasis Documentation and Research Center.

Last time I promised to write a little about the protocol for using the Soap Lake mineral water.  It isn’t really involved, but it does take determination and the desire to follow it as closely as possible.  I wrote the protocol after years of coming over to the lake and having many successes and some failures.  The interesting thing about the mineral water is that it is always beneficial for anyone that uses it, but for a person dealing with psoriasis it has to be approached a bit differently.

In the protocol I have recommended that you go into the lake at least two times and day and three if possible.  This starts the saturation process where the sores get bathed in the water.  On the second or third day, you can start to apply the mud.  It is important to start out slowly or the sores will start to itch something unbearable.  That is normal and part of the healing process, but if they begin to itch too much and you start scratching, watch out because you can become a bloody mess! 

 It is also important to shower off after each time in the lake.  The minerals will continue to do their work, but if the water is left on the skin it can develop a bit of a rash and that is so horribly uncomfortable.  I know---been there done that!  Often after about four days of going in the water, your sores can hurt a bit and be uncomfortable.  That is usually the turning point.  The next few days will start to show great results.

There is also the mud application, sun ritual, drinking a lot of water and walking that go along with this protocol and I will address this more next time.  Until then, happy healing and I hope to see you at the lake!!  ~Mary

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer At The Lake


The weather is starting to really warm up at Soap Lake and I’m excited about the summer of 2016.  Soap Lake draws a unique variety of people to its shores.  Some come to just relax, soak in the mineral water and leave their busy schedules and city life behind for a few days.  Others come to just enjoy the peace and quiet that the quaint little town, lake and country atmosphere brings. 

Some use it as a stopping off point to go fishing at other lakes close by or to go golfing at some of the areas challenging courses.  Some use the lake for wind surfing, canoeing, kayaking and just a way to cool off from the 90-100 degree summer weather.  Others know the spa like qualities of the mud and are there to cover themselves with this precious commodity that would cost well over $100 at any resort spa.
Then there are those that come to the lake for healing.  They bring with them the pain of skin disorders, arthritis and other aches and pains.  These dear people have often gone the gamut of doctors and drugs and are looking for something natural to sooth and heal their ailments.  I am one of those.  I know the lake/mud heals my sores and I live for my vacations that take me to the lake.

Image result for pictures of soap lake washingtonThis summer will be different for me.  I will close my time of working at Western Washington University at the end of July and start my new venture at Mercy Apostol Psoriasis Research Documentation Center in Soap Lake.  I plan on being there through most of the month of August and a few weeks in September.  I am excited for the opportunity to meet and chat with those coming to the lake during that time.  So if you find yourself at the lake this summer, please stop by the Healing Center and introduce yourself and get to know us.  When I’m not at the lake, Felicity will be there and we can both help you with any questions regarding the mineral water, mud and healing.

Felicity is currently at the Healing Center and getting it ready for business.  She has put in a huge amount of time refurbishing the little house.  We are extremely excited to open the healing center as a resource to help others.  So if this summer finds you at Soap Lake, please stop in at the little house on Main Street and visit with us.

In my next blog, I will share more about the psoriasis healing protocol and what it entails.  It looks simple on paper, but it can be a real challenge.  The end reward is well worth the work though and I will walk you through it next time.  Until then ~ Mary 

 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Mercy Apostol Psoriasis Research Documentation Healing Center



Just got my stitches out!!
This week finds me back at work with a face that is healing nicely.  No more stitches!!!  The doctor removed them a few days ago and I’m so thankful.  The worst of the surgeries are behind me, so now I just need to heal some more and then in about three months I will have another reconstructive surgery on my lower eyelid to get it back in place.  It droops a little right now, but I am so very thankful that I am cancer free and the rough surgeries are behind me!!

So let me continue where I left off in my last blog and tell you a little more about the Mercy Apostol Psoriasis Research Documentation Healing Center.  The name in itself is very unique.  Mercy Apostol was a dear friend of Felicity Erdmann’s (my partner in the Healing Center) who had severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis for many, many years.  Mercy was never able to find anything that worked for her condition and suffered horribly from it.  She lived on the east coast and had never heard about Soap Lake, so she didn’t have this resource available to her.  Mercy passed away several years ago after battling the disease most of her life.  Felicity wanted to honor Mercy and her battle by dedicating the Healing Center to her.  Thank you Felicity for creating such a wonderful way to help others who suffer in loving remembrance of your dear friend.  Mercy would be pleased!!
 


Mercy Apostol Healing Center
Both Felicity and I, see the Healing Center as an oasis for those suffering as Mercy did, and so many thousands do, from the dreaded disorder. It will be a place where you can come and ask questions.  A place where you can utilize the lake for its medicinal purposes and a place of resources where there is understanding of the disease and how it totally encompasses your life.

 
Because Felicity and I are so adamant about helping others find relief in their ongoing battle with psoriasis, we have partnered with Bastyr University to do a research study for them.  This study utilizes a two week protocol where the client daily soaks in the Soap Lake water for specific time periods.  (I have found that when I am 70% to 80% covered that it takes me two weeks to heal.)  The information we glean from this study will then be sent to Bastyr for their use to assist them in finding natural ways to heal disease.
 
We are excited to announce that Felicity will be opening the Healing Center June 15, 2016.  If you are interested in taking part in our study, please contact Felicity @ 206-755-0437 or you can email us - felicity@wedgwoodhealingcenter.org or mary@wedgwoodhealingcenter.org.  We will be glad to send you information or talk with you about the study.

 Felicity's website www.wedgwoodhealingcenter.org will give you even more information regarding this project.  Please take the time to check it out.
 
Until next time ~ Mary