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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

February 2023 Upcoming Issue of Natural Awakenings Charlotte



Healing Ways: Love in the Present Moment: Mindfulness for Couples

Byline: Marlaina Donato                              

To deepen romantic relationships, couples are encouraged to cultivate mindfulness through journaling, meditation, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, tai-chi and breath work. Once “awakened intimacy” is put into practice, couples become interested in each other’s perspectives and team up to heal and grow. Other tips include engaging all of the senses when hugging or touching hands; pausing to look at each other when saying hello and goodbye; sharing activities like walking, cooking or listening to the same podcast; taking a dance or yoga class together; and conversing about deep, philosophical questions. The sidebar offers mindful tips for deeper sexual intimacy, including eye-gazing in bed, laughter and tuning into bodily sensations. 


Conscious Eating: Nourish the Heart: Foods That Promote Cardiac Healing

Byline: Steven Masley , M.D.             

The right food choices prevent heart disease, shrink artery plaque and nourish the heart. The following cardiac-healing foods are recommended: fiber (vegetables, fruits, beans and nuts); healthy fats (seafood, extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, seeds, nuts and dark chocolate); clean protein (beans or animal meats that are hormone- and pesticide-free, grass- and organically-fed and wild or open-pastured); beneficial beverages (pure water, tea and coffee in moderation, fiber- and protein-rich smoothies, up to two servings of wine and non-sugary drinks); and probiotic foods (yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickled veggies and miso). With recipes for frittata with spinach, mushrooms and cheese; ratatouille; and ciopinno (Italian seafood stew).


Fit Body: Rhythms of the Heart: Improving Mood With Vagus Nerve Toning

Byline: Kirby Baldwin            

HearthMath Institute studies show that improvements in heart rate variability (HRV) and vagus nerve toning (or strengthening) can help reduce feelings of depression, anxiety and stress, thereby generally enhancingmood. A main component of the parasympathetic nervous system, the vagus nerve carries signals between the brain, heart and digestive system. Toning methods include, breathwork, meditation, massage, music therapy, exercise, cold water immersion, gargling with saltwater and a new palm-sized device called Sensate which is placed on the chest and emits stress-relieving sound waves to the nervous system using bone conduction. 


Healthy Kids: Heart-Healthy Kids: Setting a Course for Cardiovascular Wellness

Byline: Ana-Maria Temple, M.D.     

Studies show that the development of coronary atherosclerosis begins in childhood. Heart-healthy diets for kids can establish a healthful baseline and set them on a path to lifelong wellness and longevity. Thanks to epigenetics, even kids that are genetically predisposed to suffer heart conditions may be shielded from later suffering by starting them early on smart lifestyle choices like eating right, sleeping an appropriate number of hours, managing stress and reducing exposure to environmental toxins. Sugar is a major culprit. Advice is provided for steering kids away from this treacherous ingredient that contributes to the development of atherosclerotic plaques.  


Eco Tip: Deciphering Egg Carton Labels 

With so many types of egg choices in the grocery store, this article delineates what the different labels mean, from cage-free and free-range to pasture-raised and organic. Other terms are defined, as well, including locally produced, vegetarian-fed, grass-fed and no hormones.                   


Wise Words: Bruce Cryer on His Love Affair With the Heart

Byline: Kirby Baldwin      

Bruce Cryer has been called a Renaissance man because of a varied, four-decade career as a singer, actor, dancer, publisher, author, marketing executive, teacher and coach. The former CEO of HeartMath Institute has dedicated three decades to developing and teaching stress reduction and resilience techniques that tap into the power and intelligence of the heart. He explains how the heart helps to coordinate the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions, as demonstrated in hundreds of peer-reviewed HeartMath studies, and also offers heart-focused breathing tips. 


Green Living: Baby Steps to Living Greener: Tips for Lowering Toxins in the Home

Byline: Tom O’Bryan, M.D.       

Daily exposure to invisible household toxins can cause serious health consequences. The average person is exposed to 700,000 to 2 million toxins each day, and some of these are “forever chemicals” that never leave the body or take decades to be expelled. This huge toxic burden compromises human health, sometimes leading to autoimmune diseases. Room-by-room, recommendations include air filters and houseplants for cleaner breathing; organic cotton bedding, solid wood furnishings and reduced Wi-Fi exposure for better sleep; reverse osmosis water purification; glass, stainless steel and cast-iron cookware; non-plastic food storage containers; and elimination of chemicals in bath products. Small, incremental actions around the house can have a powerful cumulative impact on the mind, body and planet.  


Natural Pet: Whole Foods for Dogs and Cats: Human-Grade Meals for Our Furry Best Friends

Byline: Ruth Roberts, DVM       

Attention publishers: Commercial pet food has only been around for about 150 years. Prior to that, our furry friends were given human food. A return to human-grade pet food is proposed, with a look toward providing not only balanced nutrition but also better digestibility and tastier meals. Suggested ingredients include grass-fed or pasture-raised meats, vegetable-sourced fiber and organic options. Foods to avoid are processed kibble, artificial ingredients, preservatives, byproducts, fillers and food dyes. A pet’s best health begins in the bowl. 


Inspiration: Musings of the Heart                            

Byline: John Diamond, M.D.                    

To celebrate Heart Health Month and Valentine’s Day, readers are invited to reflect on a selection of Musings by a former pioneer in holistic healing, Dr. John Diamond, who passed away in 2021 after dedicating almost 50 years to serving his patients. Diamond wrote hundreds of Musings—pearls of wisdom, each created with the intention of raising the life energy of the reader.

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