September 2023 Upcoming Issue of Natural Awakenings Charlotte
Feature : Traveling With Purpose, Nine Destinations for Spiritual Enlightenment
Throughout history, humans have embarked on pilgrimages in pursuit of wealth, good fortune, divine intervention, spiritual enlightenment and other blessings. These journeys could be considered the earliest manifestations of one type of adventure travel, while today some of these would be defined as spiritual tourism. Travel can be an amazing way to explore metaphysical interests with new people, sites and scenes to invigorate the senses, stimulate the imagination, refresh the mental framework and invite new ideas and personal insights. Some places qualify for spiritual travel by virtue of their natural beauty, or due to some historical, mythological or religious significance. For a trip that fosters mind-body-spirit self-care with a generous portion of adventure, check out these sacred sites.
Green Living – Understanding Light Pollution, Environmental Concerns and Achievable Remedies
The skies around cities are hundreds, if not thousands, of times brighter than they were 200 years ago, according to 2017 research published in Science Advances. In addition to robbing us of the Earth’s nocturnal skyscape, outdoor illumination negatively affects many plants and animals, including humans. Human-made lighting threatens approximately 30 percent of nocturnal vertebrates and 60 percent of nocturnal invertebrates, and it “is increasingly suspected of affecting human health,” writes scientist Christopher Kyba. Artificial light interrupts human circadian rhythms, thereby affecting our REM [rapid eye movement] sleep, which is vital for our well-being.
Fit Body – Title: Yoga on Vacation, Simple Poses and Tips for Travelers
Travel can broaden our perspective of the world and take us on breathtaking adventures. These new experiences, however, often come with unexpected mental and physical challenges, stresses and anxieties. By incorporating yoga into the itinerary, we can cultivate a sense of peace, allowing us to show up as our best selves. From asanas after long hours of sitting to breathing exercises while waiting for a flight, yogic techniques can open the body and mind, letting us enjoy both the journey and destination.
Healing Ways - Medical Tourism, Navigating the Risks and Rewards
As healthcare costs continue to rise in the United States, patients are grabbing their passports and turning to medical tourism—the act of crossing borders to obtain quality medical care at a lower cost. To date, 2.1 to 2.4 million Americans have intentionally crossed borders specifically for medical care. Approximately 65 percent of those people sought complex dental treatments. While the trend is growing, it is important to understand that complications may arise during a healthcare procedure regardless of where it is performed.
Conscious Eating – Savoring the Present Moment, How to Add Mindfulness to Mealtime
Mindful eating—the practice of slowing down, appreciating the present moment and becoming consciously aware of the ingredients, flavors, aromas and textures that we consume—can be a worthwhile meditative endeavor. Mindfulness can begin before we even sit at the dining room table, when we take the time to think deeply about what we are preparing. Calm focus can even help us when shopping for ingredients at the farmers market or grocery store.
Healthy Kids – Helping Kids Cope, Guiding Children Through Trauma and Anxiety
Byline: Carrie Jackson
Children today are facing ever-increasing amounts of stress and anxiety. In addition to academic pressure, bullying and family dynamics, kids are worried about navigating social media, climate change and school shootings. While a certain amount of stress is normal and healthy, too much can cause debilitating physical, emotional and cognitive effects. A 2010 study published by the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, at Harvard University, reports that persistent fear and chronic anxiety can have lifelong consequences by disrupting the developing architecture of the brain. Parents can help anxious kids by modeling stress-management and problem-solving techniques, and inviting their children to talk about their feelings.
Natural Pets – Dog Parenting, How to Shape Behavior and Strengthen Our Bond
Byline: Karen Shaw Becker, DVM
In the same way that parenting styles impact children’s mental and emotional development, so do pet parenting choices. How we guide and care for our dogs can shape their behavior, responsiveness, attachment, cognition and overall well-being. A positive connection between humans and their canine family members is mutually beneficial on many levels. Science has revealed a demonstrable chemistry between dogs and their humans, and in fact, daily interactions with our canine companions have a measurably beneficial effect on our biochemistry, thanks to a hormone called oxytocin, sometimes called the “hug hormone” or the “love chemical”.
Wise Words – Stephen Cope on Finding Your Calling
Specializing in the relationship between Eastern contemplative traditions and Western psychology, Stephen Cope has been a scholar-in-residence for more than three decades at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, the largest residential yoga center in North America. He also founded the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living, a global network of scientists that researches the effects and mechanisms of yoga-based practices. Cope is a classically trained pianist, dancer and psychotherapist, as well as a bestselling author.
Inspiration – Embracing the Winding Road
Breaking our own rules can gift us with a brand of freedom that we’ve only imagined. Seasoned travelers and weekend adventurers might agree that setting aside plans and maps invites unforeseen magic. Ordering something we cannot pronounce on the menu, turning left instead of right or revisiting an old dream might be a wonderful decision.
Eco Tip – Eco Travel 101
Traveling tips for leaving small footprints across the Earth.