Letter From the Publisher September 2021
As summer begins to transition into fall, and the pace of life becomes more hectic, it’s almost too easy at times to place wellness on the back-burner. However, we at Natural Awakenings, want to be that gentle respite from the stress and busyness of life, reminding you to pause, tune inward, breathe, and carve out space for healthy self-care practices. No matter what your wellness needs are—physical, mental, emotional or spiritual—this month’s issue is full of both inspirational and practical tools to make health a priority as the new season rolls around.
Our feature article for this issue is all about “Art and Healing.” Whether it’s a visual medium such as painting or a performance medium such as dancing, artistic expression can be a force to motivate both personal wellness and social change. Here in Florida, for instance, dance helps increase mobility in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In Detriot, certified art therapists are teaching cancer patients how to use creativity as an outlet for emotions during their treatment process. In Milwaukee, actors are joining with dementia patients and their caregivers to create theatrical performances. And in Los Angeles, musicians give free concerts in areas of the community stricken with trauma, addiction or poverty.
Another area of health that cannot be overlooked is the impact of chronic pain on quality of life. Our “Integrative Pain Management” article explores how integrative modalities within the framework of holistic medicine can help those living with chronic pain finally experience relief. To calm the nervous system and help reduce pain levels naturally, some doctors are using non-invasive methods such as CBD, turmeric, hypnotherapy, low-dose naltrexone, expressive writing and five-second mindfulness practices. If you are one of the 50 million Americans who currently suffer from chronic pain, this is the resource for you.
September is National Yoga Month, so of course, we would be remiss not to talk about the health benefits of yoga in this month’s issue. Our “Fit Body” article delves into how trauma-informed yoga can step in where psychotherapy leaves off in order to quell the body’s overactive fight-or-flight response. This ancient mind-body practice calms both the amygdala (the brain’s internal danger alarm) and the vagus nerve (which helps the body process traumatic situations). When practiced with the guidance of a trauma specialist, the gentle stretches and intentional postures of yoga can help to free memories, alleviate emotions, and release somatic tensions or hypervigilant reactions caused by the unresolved trauma.
Whether you are in need of a quick burst of inspiration and stress relief, or you could use some more in-depth healing, I sincerely hope this issue of Natural Awakenings reminds you to invest in and care for your own personal wellness. We love to hear your thoughts and feedback, so please reach out with any questions or comments to [email protected] Here’s wishing you a new season of balance, wholeness and, most of all, health!