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Nathan Zassman discusses Aviva Natural Health Solutions on CJOB: Talk to the Experts
Originally Aired on February 19, 2011.
CJOB: Talk to the Experts
Greg Mackling: Welcome to our Sunday edition of "Talk to the Experts." Joining us in our studio today is Nathan Zassman. And Nathan, I guess you're the founder?
Nathan Zassman: Mm-hmm.
Greg: And operator of Aviva Natural Health products, right here in Winnipeg. And was fortunate enough to come down to your store on Thursday. So, thank you very much for the invitation.
Nathan: You're welcome.
Greg: I really was blown away by your facility. How clean it is. How well organized it is. The fixtures, everything about your store blew me away. So, I wanted to pay you that compliment on the air.
Nathan: Thank you.
Greg: Right now. And for folks that have never heard of you, and I've got my hand up right now.
Until we were doing this program together, I'd never heard of Aviva. Great name. Why don't you tell us a little bit about the history of Aviva in Winnipeg?
Nathan: Well, Greg, it's funny you mentioned the great name. Aviva actually means enliven in Spanish. It also means spring time in Hebrew. When I was trying to find a name for the company, almost 11 years ago, when I founded it, I felt that this was an appropriate name. Also I liked it because it started with A, and it would be earlier in the yellow and white pages.
Greg: Always thinking about the marketing. I like that.
Nathan: Anyway, we'll begin our 11th year on March 1st. So, we've been around a lot longer than most people think. We were actually Manitoba's fastest growing business in 2008 and 2009. And one of the primary reasons for our growth and success was thanks to our excellent website.
We've been shipping quality natural health products all over the world for about eight years. Many of our Winnipeg customers, Greg, they find us after doing an online search for a particular product.
They're always surprised to find out that Aviva is in Winnipeg. What also surprises our customers that visit us, either online or in our store, for the first time is that Aviva may have the world's largest selection of health products to be found at a single location.
And it's not just a large selection, the selection is of the highest quality, because I spend all my time researching products to ensure we have the best in each category.
Greg: You know what I was amazed by, not only the quality, but the diversity of the products. Not just supplements, not just health food, not just different products. I was blown away by the research that you have done.
Nathan: Well, probably the most enjoyable part of being an owner of a company like this is I actually am a researchaholic. I spend hours and hours researching everything that we sell. My customers enjoy it, because they know they don't have to do the research. I've done it for them. Actually, one writer who visited our store a couple of years ago, he said that we should use the slogan "We cover you from head to toe."
This is appropriate, because we have products that include natural hair colours that don't use a lot of the carcinogenic chemicals, right down to therapeutic foot wear. For those who haven't visited our website, they should go to www.avivahealth.com.
Our website has all our products with lots of articles on health and wellness. And you can also learn about the regular seminars that are offered at no cost to our loyal customers at our 1224 St. James location.
We're having our second healthy bread in five minutes a day seminar this Wednesday. I put on a seminar on detoxification a few weeks ago. My next seminar will be on healthy aging.
So, if anyone in our listening audience is interested in knowing more about what we can do to age more gracefully, they should come to our store and sign up there free. But you do have to visit our store to sign up.
Greg: You're easy to find. I mean that you are right... I described it as being the middle of furniture row, there. You're up by Costco. What's the cross street there, Nathan?
Nathan: Wellington Avenue.
Greg: Wellington Avenue, and there's a big beautiful, the big fishing shop across the street.
Nathan: Yeah, Wholesale Sports.
Greg: Right. So, I mean you're really easy to find. 1224 St. James Street and the phone number that we'd like to give folks... Now they have to come into the store to sign up for the...
Nathan: Yes, they do.
Greg: OK. Otherwise, avivahealth.com and it's nice that you have a .ca address. Is there a reason for that?
Nathan: Yeah, we couldn't get the .com.
Greg: Somebody got it already. [laughs] I'm surprised by that.
Nathan: At any rate, our first location was kind of buried in the exchange district, and although we had a loyal following at that location, Greg, this was not a great location for a retail store, as not that many people traveled down Adelaide Street.
We opened a second location in St. Vital a few years ago, right across from the SilverCity movie theater. The problem with that location was that it was just too small to display our selection of over 7,000 products.
So, I was excited when I found our new location, which, again, you've mentioned, is at 1224 St. James Street, at the corner of Wellington. Now, for the first time, we have a location that is highly visible, with tens of thousands of vehicles passing our store each day.
In our new location, we can display all our products with separate sections in our store to make it easy for our customers to find the products they want. Our slogan, "Everything for healthy living," really says it all.
Greg: And what I was... you know, I think, maybe, you've encountered this. People think that maybe you're just the vitamins store.
Nathan: Yeah, I know. That's really a common thought, but we are not a vitamins store. Although we may have the best selection of nutritional supplements to be found in any store in Canada. including professional lines like Douglas Laboratories, Genestra, Biotics, and Metagenics that you will not normally find in other health food stores.
Aviva is really a department store with products that can be integrated into your lifestyle to make health improvement easy. That's my concept.
So, what I tried to do when I founded the company, is I tried to determine what we really do each day, and how we can integrate into our lifestyle, concepts that will improve our health without us really thinking about it. So, what do we do? Let's start with sleep.
Greg: We pretty much start and finish every day by sleeping, right?
Greg: We're doing the same activity at the beginning and end of each day.
Nathan: That's so true. I don't think there are many things that we do as humans that are more important than getting a good night's sleep. I also think that more customers visit Aviva looking for solutions to their sleeping problems than for any other health issue.
Sure, we have people looking for solutions for their arthritis pain, and perhaps, stress and other issues. But I would say getting a good night's rest is one, if not of the most common reasons that people visit our store.
Either the customers says that they can't get to sleep, or they wake up in the middle of the night and they can't get back to sleep. Some of women have problems with hot flashes that affect their sleep.
Many people suffer from sleep apnea, or some type of sleep disordered breathing, including snoring. These problems not only affect the snorer, but also for the spouse that happens to be trying to sleeping in the same bed.
Greg: My wife will vote for that, Nathan.
Nathan: Aah. So, any of these issues can adversely affect our health. Sleep apnea and snoring are a major cause of high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, stroke, and coronary artery disease.
Greg: So, it's not just that the sleep pattern or the lack of sleep that affects our lives. It's, of course, the related health issues I can develop from those things. We have to take a break.
When we come back, I want to talk about how Aviva, how your expertise, how your fantastically laid out store, can offer some different options, some different, cure is maybe not the right word, but some different opportunities for you to get that perfect night's sleep.
Hopefully, our listeners will stick around for that, because I know you've got some fantastic options for that.
Nathan: We'll call them solutions.
Greg: I like the solutions.
Nathan: All right.
Greg: Very good. You're listening to "Talk to the Experts" and this is "Talk to the Experts" on the super station CJOB 68.
Welcome back to "Talk to the Experts" with our friends from Aviva Natural Health Solutions. Joining us in the studio today is Nathan Zassman.
Nathan, I've really enjoyed our conversations so far. I want to reiterate how much I enjoyed visiting your store at 1224 St. James Street earlier this week. And the wide variety of products and you've got a quite a slogan and I really, really like it.
Nathan: Well, our slogan, "Everything for Healthy Living," is appropriate. My goal at Aviva is to educate our customers so that they can integrate healthy concepts into their daily lifestyle. Greg, it has been proven that the best way to prevent disease and to extend our life is to combine healthy food choices with nutritional supplements to supplement our diet with sufficient rest and sleep and regular exercise. In a nutshell, we can improve our health if we stop eating starches and refined foods, especially foods made with sugar or refined flours.
In other words, stop eating junk. My father used to use the word "chazzerai." My Jewish listeners know what I mean. You've got to stay away from chazzerai, which basically means you have to stay away from junk food.
Do you know that there is more free sugar in mashed potatoes than in table sugar? There is as much free sugar in a can of coke than in five pounds of venison.
Greg: Oh, my.
Nathan: And there's more free sugar in a super size order of French fries than in five pounds of elk. It's the insulin response that follows after eating foods that are either high in sugar or high in free sugar that are the root of most of our health problems, including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
So, to be healthy, we have to clean up our act in terms of our diet. We have to exercise a minimum of six days a week, because exercise turns on specific chemicals in our body that actually can reduce the risk of disease.
I remember years ago when I was a student. One of my teachers said to me, "You never stay the same. You either get better or you get worse." And. that I think follows in on almost any area of your life.
If you don't exercise six days a week, if you don't follow a healthy diet and so forth, you will be going in the wrong direction with regard to your health and increasing your risk of health problems. Sleep is extremely important and people have to realize that attaining a good night's sleep maybe the single most important thing they can do to improve their overall health. And it is probably just as important as diet and exercise. In the next segment, I'm going to reveal how we can help improve anyone's quality of sleep. So, stay tuned.
Greg: And very well said, Nathan. Stay tuned because Nathan is going to unlock some secrets in terms of getting that perfect night sleep. If you are enjoying our conversation and you want to head to the Internet, avivahealth.com [spells] is the website. If you want to call the store 947-6789 inside of Winnipeg, outside of Winnipeg 1-866-947-6789. You are listening to Talk to the Experts with Aviva Natural Health Solutions on the super station CJOB 68.
Welcome back to Talk to the Experts and our friends from Aviva Natural Health Solutions are joining us today and I am honored to have in the studio with me Nathan Zassman.
And Nathan, really enjoying the conversation with regards to improving our overall quality of life and something you really hammering home and that's sleep. How important sleep is in our overall health. How does Aviva help its customers improve their quality of sleep? You've made a big promise on the other side of the sports.
Nathan: All right. Well, the first thing we can do is to ensure that our customers who have sleep problems have a great bed to sleep in. How many people listening to this program are happy with the bed they're sleeping in? I see people all the time, they tell me that they just bought a new bed or purchased a bed in the past year or two but that they aren't happy with it. I hear this all the time. Many of the beds on the market today are in fact, most of them, are made with a potpourri of terrible chemicals.
The vast majority of mattresses are chemical nightmare constructed of polyurethane foam which is made from a petrochemical base combined with a chemical potpourri of stabilizers, catalysts, surfactants, flame and fire retardants, anti-microbial additives and colorants. The largest organ in our body is our skin which covers an area of about two square meters.
So, Greg, bed makers even used formaldehyde in their foam which can cause a variety of upper respiratory problems including irritating the skin. Beds are important for adults but they are even more important for babies.
Greg: Talk a little bit more about that.
Nathan: Well, a baby has a very poorly developed immune system. For I think it's for the first six months to a year, it's at much more at risk of exposure to any type of toxin. I know the liver is not well enough developed to deal with toxins and in general, babies are more at risk. So, I think that parents need to be especially more knowledgeable about the importance of purchasing a crib mattress that is chemical free to ensure that their child is not being exposed to chemical toxins.
So I think that's very important. But many of us, Greg, sleep with little or no clothing exposing our skin to toxins in our bed, our pillows and our bedding. And the chemicals used in our beds are associated with chronic bronchitis, impaired lung function, breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, allergic reactions, and many of the chemicals used in our beds are potential carcinogens and reproductive toxins.
I think it's ironic, Greg that most people sleep in an environment that can negatively affect reproduction when most reproduction... [laughs]
Greg: Obviously, occurs there.
Nathan: I wonder how many physicians have treat patients with infertility consider the chemical their patients are exposed to while sleeping and how they may have affect their ability to reproduce. I believe that the bed we sleep in, maybe the single most overlooked cause of health problems in the world today.
Greg: That is something that I had never thought off up until Thursday when I came into your store. Talk about the beds that you have in the store and what a quality bed really should look like, Nathan.
Nathan: Well, the beds we recommend from a company called OMI which stands for Organic Mattress Incorporated. These are beds that are made with completely natural and organic materials. When you have a bed made from completely natural and organic materials including natural latex which is not a synthetic material. It comes from the rubber tree. You have a bed that won't suffer from the sagging that you'll see with other types of synthetic foams.
You'll have a bed that will easily last the 20-year warranty that they give it and probably more like 30 or more years. I don't think when someone is looking at a bed, they should be looking... Personally I don't think they should be looking at the best deal. I think they should be looking at the best bed when they realized how long they'll be keeping it and how much it can do for their health.
Greg: Not to mention how many hours a day we should be spending sleeping.
Nathan: Well, the OMI bed, the original design was basically based on research from the owner of that company. His name was Walt Bader who had himself a variety of chemical sensitivities. It was his goal to find a bed for himself I believe that would not cause the problems that the beds he has been sleeping in were causing. So, the OMI line of beds is definitely a healthier bed from a chemical standpoint.
But it's also one of the most supportive and comfortable beds if not the most supportive and comfortable bed I've ever seen. In fact, we had a customer that came in last week and he told me that he had been shopping for a bed for over a month. He and his wife had been to every single bed store in Winnipeg for over a month. And then he heard about our beds. He came to our store and he visited twice that day and bought one on the spot.
He told me that he had never experienced a bed that felt as good as the OMI bed. I don't think his primary motivation for buying a bed, Greg, was because it was healthier. He bought it because of the way it felt.
Greg: So, you've got a dual purpose here. Not only do you got a bed that's better for your health but at least in this gentleman's estimation, going to be the best bed in terms of comfort.
Nathan: The concept of a firm mattress, by the way, many people think that for... if they have back trouble, they need to get a firm mattress and this particular concept has been dis-proven in many studies now. You need a medium firm mattress, a mattress that molds to your body but still has firmness. And these beds have that quality. They are not hard as a rock. They are comfortable beds but they are very supportive.
By the way, we also had a customer who had a history of problems purchasing beds that caused her pain. She has a particular health concern that caused her muscular pain. And she actually was in our store about 20 times before she finally chose...
Greg: 20 visits to your store? [laughs]
Nathan: Probably more, I think. We actually have a unique section in our store. It's called the Sleep Trial Centre and this is unique. You can actually come to our store and ask us to put a particular bed that you are interested in or two in our sleep trial area and we'll allow our customers to spend a couple or three hours actually trying out one of our beds.
This is a unique feature of our store and I believe that if you are going to spend any amount of money on a bed, you want to make sure it's the right one. And you can't really make that decision by lying on a bed in a middle of a showroom for five minutes.
Greg: Well said, never seen that. I've never seen that anywhere else. Very impressive.
Nathan: We thought it was very important. OMI also uses a lot of wool in their beds. You may want to know what's so special about wool. Wool when combined with natural breathable latex provides a variety of amazing qualities, Greg.
Most people want to sleep in a bed that isn't too hot or too cold and the secret weapon to normalize temperature is wool. Actually, wool is... if you're a cool sleeper, it will warm you up. If you are a warm sleeper, it will cool you down. And also, if you are worried about dust mites and allergens, they are...
If you are sleeping on a bed that uses wool, these beds resist dust mites and allergens. Natural fabrics like wool and latex combat dust mites and bacteria which always thrive in a moist environment. Natural latex is 300% more resistant to dust mites than synthetic foams. So, there are many advantages and reasons for people to sleep on a bed that is not made of chemicals, that is supportive and that it will enhance your health every night you sleep in it.
Greg: Well, what about pressure point pain? I know it's a big issue for people.
Nathan: Pressure point pain is a major issue and by the way, that was the... I think the determining factor for this woman that I mentioned had been to our store for 20 times or over 20 visits. You can sleep on your side, on your back. On these beds, you don't have the pressure point pain that you'll have on most beds.
Greg: Well, I have to tell you, I was shocked to see beds in your store and even more pleasantly surprised when I actually lied down and tried these beds out there. They are absolutely amazing. I invite our listeners to come down and check them out, 1224 St. James Street. Can they take a look at the beds on your website, Nathan?
Nathan: I don't believe the OMI beds are on our website yet because it's relatively new product for us. We've only carried the line for a couple of months. And we are now preparing our website to have them there but they are not on our website yet.
Greg: Lots of other fantastic products at avivahealth.com. Aviva Natural Health Solutions are our guest on this edition of Talk to the Experts right here on the super station CJOB 68.
Welcome back to Talk to the Experts with our friends from Aviva Natural Health Solutions. With us in the studio today is Nathan Zassman.
Nathan, we've been discussing in the previous segment mattresses and I think you've got me convinced to go out and consider a new mattress for variety of wonderful reasons that you pointed out. You must have some other sleep solutions in that fantastic store of yours at 1224 St. James Street.
Nathan: Greg, once you have a quality bed, we can also improve the quality of your sleep through supplements, nutrition, diet, and exercise. We also have a unique product that can help relieve sleep apnea and snoring. It's a product called the Aveotsd, which is a unique tongue stabilizing device that has impressive clinical studies to support its effectiveness.
So, this is a product that we have sold hundreds of these to our customers over the past few years, and they're incredibly effective. In fact, I know that many people had been using the CPAP system, which is a product, it stands for Continuous Pressure Airway Pressure. It's a machine that you actually have to sleep with that makes sure that you are breathing when you're sleeping.
I know of people who had been using that that went to this product, and it worked better. And, of course, it's silent, it makes no noise. So, it's a tremendous product with good clinical studies that support its effectiveness.
For those who have difficulty relaxing, we also have a very interesting technology based on a concept called brainwave entrainment. Brainwave entrainment is an amazing technology that can teach you to relax in minutes just by listening to special sounds that use a technology called Binaural Beats.
This technology was developed by scientists, Greg, who analyzed the brainwaves of yogis and master meditators like the Dalai Lama. They found that experienced meditators learned to produce a high levels of a specific brainwave called alpha waves, which could only be produced if they were completely relaxed.
The researchers learned that by listening to specific sounds that were actually inaudible, you didn't know you were listening to them. That is because the sounds were below the normal audible range, but these alpha waves would be achieved in minutes when you were listening to these sounds.
So, people would learn to relax using this technology, which would normally take Zen masters years and years and years to achieve, in basically minutes using it. So, it's a very interesting technology. There are CDs that we sell.
Now, other things you can do to improve your quality of sleep is to purify the air in your home.
Greg: A lot of people wouldn't link the two.
Nathan: They wouldn't, but it's unbelievable. In fact, we have a customer in Winnipeg, I won't mention her name, but she's very well-known in the medical field, and she and her husband had done their own research, Greg, on air purifiers.
If you do the research on air purifiers, like most of our customers have, you'll find out the two best air purification products on the market are IQAir and Blueair. They are the two top products.
Now, IQAir is in a class of its own, or a league of its own, in terms of quality. Now, this customer, she's actually a psychiatrist, and her husband is as well, and when she bought the unit she kidded me.
She said, "Nathan, my husband thinks that they're putting drugs in the air purifier."
Nathan: I said, "What are you talking about?" She said that, "He hasn't slept as well in decades since he bought the air purifier."
I have another testimonial here from a customer named Larry Whitehead, and I'll read it. "We received our IQAir on Wednesday and we got to use it last night in our master bedroom. I set it up on high speed about four hours before going to bed, and then turned it down for the number two fan setting for the night."
"I don't think it is my imagination, but as soon as I go into the bedroom, my sinuses clear up in minutes. I had a great sleep, and it was so neat to have open and clear breathing through my nose. I do breathe through my nose, but it is clogged and restricted all the time. As soon as I left our bedroom this morning, my sinuses immediately clogged up again."
Now, Greg, you know, sometimes you might think this is a placebo, it's a new product.
Nathan: So, he sent me another email a week later.
Nathan: It goes like this: "Dear Nathan, Good results are continuing, plus Sharon has noticed much less airborne dust landing on her fine, highly-polished dresser. On Christmas day I took my son and his wife up to our bedroom to show them our air purifier, because I told him that when I come into the room I can feel my air-flow passages open up within a couple of minutes. And I wanted to see if he could feel anything."
"His sinus and air-flow passages get restricted as well. Well, Kevin sat down in our bedroom, and he experienced the same thing. And since he is an HVAC engineer, he is very skeptical of most devices. I showed him the technical data and he was impressed."
So, Greg, we get testimonials like this all the time. Whether it's an air purifier, which can tremendously improve the quality of sleep by improving our airways when we breathe, we also stress the importance of humidifiers, especially this time of year.
Greg: Yeah, I know our climate, right? Very, very dry in our climate.
Nathan: This year many of us suffer from dry air in our homes and offices as heating the air results in a loss of humidity. I did my research. Believe me, we have the best humidifiers on the market. There are many problems with humidifiers. The line we have, also from Switzerland, corrects all of them.
So, humidity can correct a variety of health problems. It can help relieve cold symptoms, decrease your susceptibility to colds, flu, hay fever and coughs. It decreases your susceptibility to infection by keeping the mucous membranes of your throat and nasal passages moist and the tiny hairs, Greg, which are called cilia, that block particles from entering our lungs.
Dry air can not only increase your cold, cough and hay fever symptoms, fatigue, tiredness, headache and reduced concentration levels can be caused by dry air, as moist air makes it easier for the lungs to absorb oxygen.
So, if you have any sinus issues, a humidifier could be part of your treatment plan. If you have dry skin, humid air also can protect the skin. So, when the air is dry, the nasal passages get dry, which contributes to nosebleeds and sinus infections. So, we recommend humidifiers, Greg, because they work in tandem with air purifiers to make a tremendous difference to your health, and also, your quality of sleep.
Greg: We're going to invite you to head down to 1224 St. James Street and visit Nathan at Aviva Natural Health Solutions and find out about some of these amazing products that we've been talking about over the last hour, right here on "Talk to the Experts."
We have to take a break. We come back, our last segment with Nathan Zassman of Aviva Natural Health Solutions, right here on the super station, CJOB 68.
Greg: Welcome back to our fifth and final segment of this edition of "Talk to the Experts" with Nathan Zassman from Aviva Natural Health Solutions. Time flies by, Nathan, when you're having fun. Unfortunately, we've really only had the opportunity to scratch the surface of the solutions within the four walls and at the website at avivahealth.com.
Nathan: That's always a problem, you know, Greg, when you have so many different products. I think, perhaps, it's important that we did focus on the quality of our beds that we sleep in, and the quality of the air that we breathe.
I think it's also important to make our listeners aware that we also stress the importance of drinking purified water. We have a tremendous selection of water purification systems at our store, including point-of-use, which are drinking water systems. And what they call point of entry, which are systems that you can install to purify all the water in your home.
Aviva recommends Opus water purification systems, which remove chlorine, fluoride, heavy metals, chemicals and contaminants, but leave the healthful minerals, resulting in a much better tasting water.
Plus the pH of the water produced in Aviva's, in an Opus system, I'm sorry, is much higher than the pH of water produced by other systems such as reverse osmosis or distillation. You can learn more about the Opus systems by visiting www.opus.net.
We also sell shower filters. And, Greg, most people don't realize that you can absorb more chlorine from a five minute shower than from drinking eight glasses of chlorinated water, right through the pores of your skin. If you use a shower or bath filter, you'll notice immediately how your skin is softer, your hair is softer, because the chlorine is very drying.
Nathan: I know you tried them on. You walked around our store in them. They are amazing. The MBT shoe is a shoe that can enhance your health with every step that you take.
We also have therapeutic chairs. We have chairs that... you have to sit in a chair, we're sitting in chairs right now. You can sit in a chair that also can improve your health, both by improving your lymphatic system and by strengthening your back muscles and core muscles, especially, a chair called Swopper, which is a German-manufactured chair, or the Aviva fitness ball chair.
So, these are all different products that are important. I want to finish today by stressing the importance of oral health. The reason I want to talk about oral health, because I believe that oral health, along with getting a good night's rest and drinking pure water and exercise...
It's been proven that if you do not care for your teeth and gums properly that you will have a much higher rate of cardiovascular disease.
So, Aviva focuses on products that will improve oral health, especially the health of your gums. Including the Hydrabrush, which is an award-winning toothbrush that is better than the Sonicares and the Braun Oral B's and so forth.
Nathan: Plus, the Hydro Floss, which is a unique oral irrigating system, which is the only system proven to eliminate or reduce subgingival plaque, which is related to increased periodontal disease, which, again, can be related to higher rates of cardiovascular disease.
So, we tried to cover some of the more important areas of our health. Food preparation is important. We have those types of products. Air purification, a quality bed, water treatment. All of these things can improve our health, including improving the health of our teeth and gums.
We invite anybody who's listening to this program today to visit our store. We can walk you through all the different sections of our store and help teach you about our approach to improving your health easily.
Greg: And you do educate your customers, and you've educated our listeners today. Nathan Zassman from Aviva Natural Health Solutions, located here in Winnipeg at 1224 St. James Street, or on the world wide web at avivahealth.com. 947-6789. This has been "Talk to the Experts on the super station CJOB 68.