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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

September 2021 Upcoming Issue




Feature: Art and Healing                                                                                          

Byline: Sandra Yeyati

Art can be a powerful force for healing, as well as a source of inspiration and a focus for social change. In a Florida medical center, dance is bringing Parkinson’s patients joy and increased mobility. In Detroit, art therapists help cancer patients reconstruct their sense of identity and find expression for painful emotions. In Los Angeles, professional symphony musicians give joyous performances in concert with people devastated by poverty, addiction and trauma. In Milwaukee, actors and caregivers join with people with dementia to perform plays and to produce art exhibits and books, bringing fresh life to care facilities.


Healing Ways: Integrative Pain Management                                                   

Byline: Ronica O’Hara                         

For the 50 million Americans living with chronic pain, relief is hard to come by. With surgery and injections often failing to provide long-lasting relief, major medical centers and holistic practitioners alike are offering integrative approaches that draw on a range of modalities. To calm down an overwrought nervous system that amps up pain levels, some pioneering doctors are deploying effective pain-reducing strategies that include such simple steps as expressive writing and five-second mindfulness moments. With a sidebar on promising modalities, including CBD, turmeric, hypnotherapy and low-dose naltrexone.  


Fit Body: Trauma Yoga                                                                 

Byline:Marlaina Donato

Trauma-informed yoga can pick up where talk therapy leaves off by quelling the body’s overactive fight-or-flight responses. It targets the amygdala, the danger detector in the brain, and the vagus nerve that runs from the brain to the abdomen, which plays a vital role in processing trauma. The gentle stretches of yoga guided by a trained trauma specialist can help to free up memories, alleviate troubling emotions, and release chronic somatic tension and hypervigilance.


Healthy Kids: Nurturing Creativity                                                                  

Byline: Ronica O’Hara                         

In this rapidly changing world, creative thinking is critical to personal and planetary survival, yet research shows that those skills start declining in children at age 6. Parents can reverse this process by creating an environment in which creativity flows, using such strategies as nurturing kids’ curiosity with open-ended questions; encouraging them to follow their bliss by diving into topics that intrigue them; making creativity easy with supplies close at hand; and allowing them to be bored so that new ideas spring forth.


Wise Words: Martha Beck on the Way of Integrity                                                

Byline: Sandra Yeyati

The bestselling author and O Magazine contributor made a pledge to herself 30 years ago not to lie for an entire year. She’s been doing an “integrity cleanse” repeatedly since then, and it enables her to stay in harmony with her true self. When we practice integrity, she says, we stop automatically doing things to please other people, and that then puts us in tune with what we really want and helps us realize our destiny. 


Conscious Eating: Wild Mushrooms                                                  

Byline: April Thompson

Wild mushrooms can infuse exciting new flavors and textures into familiar dishes, bring the taste of the local terroir from woods to plate, and even supply a host of nutritional benefits not found in ordinary mushrooms. While foraging is the most satisfying way to find them, they can also be bought at farmers’ markets, online purveyors and gourmet stores. With recipes for Hen of the Woods Steaks and Warm Endive and Oyster Mushroom Salad.


Green Living: Healthy Cookware                                                               

Byline: Amy Coyle

As every cook knows, not all cookware is created equal, and choosing environmentally sound and chemical-free cookware ensures meals that are not only healthy, but also safe for the family and the planet. Some precautions to note: Teflon starts to leach chemicals when scratched or overheated, ceramic cookware from Latin America may harbor contaminants, cast iron is risky for people with iron overload and unlined copper can leach into acidic foods. 


Natural Pet: Horse Therapy

Byline: Julie Peterson 

Weighing in at 1,000 pounds or more, a horse makes a formidable yet effective co-therapist for people with physical, mental and emotional needs. At equine therapy centers across the country, horses connect emotionally with people by being able to intuitively sense human needs and respond to the emotions of those around them. The rhythmic movement of horses moves a rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, leading to improvements in flexibility and muscle strength in people with mobility challenges.

Inspiration: Written Notes                                                                      

Byline: Julie Peterson 

Dashing off a quick thank-you by email comes easy enough, but perhaps it’s time to bring back the nostalgia, the handwriting and a box full of stationary for all occasions. A handwritten note ensures someone will know you took the time to think, write and send. Making it a habit three times a week will make the “attitude of gratitude” second natureand you can even write a gratitude note to yourself.

Eco Tip: Lightbulbs

A detailed listing of the pros and cons of incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs, with information on energy efficiency, estimate
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