Letter From the Publisher February 2023
February is the month we most associate with love and affection. Heart-shaped chocolates take over the aisles at our local stores, and we share heartfelt messages with the cherished Valentines in our lives. But what about directing some of that love to our own heart health? That’s exactly what this issue of Natural Awakenings is all about. Let’s have a peek inside!
Most conversations around heart health begin with the topic of nutrition. This month’s Conscious Eating article focuses on how to nourish the heart with foods that promote cardiac healing. The right dietary choices can lower the risk of heart disease, shrink artery plaque and strengthen cardiovascular function. Nutrients like fiber, healthy fats, clean protein and probiotics can do absolute wonders for your heart—and total-body wellness. This article also features recipes like a heart healthy vegetable frittata, ratatouille and Italian seafood stew.
Consistent physical and mental self-care practices are essential for cardiovascular health too, and our Fit Body article offers a unique method to strengthen heart rhythms from the inside out. This modality is known as vagus nerve toning, and it can help you maintain an optimal heart rate variability (the amount of time between heartbeats). The vagus nerve plays a crucial role in the nervous system, as it facilitates signals between your brain, heart and digestive tract. Toning this nerve can also reduce chronic stress, depression or anxiety to enhance your mood state. As this article points out, there are a number of effective ways to tone the vagus nerve: breathwork, meditation, massage, exercise, cold water immersion, music therapy and more.
Finally, we would be remiss not to touch on relationships and romance in our February issue. With Valentine’s Day celebrations just around the corner, this month’s Healing Ways article is all about mindfulness for couples. To cultivate a deep, intimate connection with your significant other, a foundation of authentic trust and quality time must be established. Couples can awaken this intimacy with each other through mindfulness-based practices such as journaling, Tai Chi, breathwork, dance or yoga, intentional eye contact or physical touch, honest conversations and tuning into body sensations. It’s also important to look for shared activities to enjoy together such as walking in nature, cooking a meal or listening to a podcast.
As usual, this is just a brief snapshot of all the insights and inspiration that await you on each page. We are continually grateful that you invite us to be part of your holistic wellness journey, and we wish you a month filled with abundance, connection and, of course, love!