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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Letter from the Publisher

Aug 31, 2021 04:03PM ● By Shae Marcus

Being a member of a community is so much more than just being a person living among a group of people in the same area. It can make us feel as though we are a part of something greater than ourselves. It’s about connecting, sharing, growing, inspiring, and can be a great source of support and make us feel safe and secure. Sadly, many of us don’t get to experience a sense of community; a lot of us haven’t even met our neighbors, let alone know their names. We here at Natural Awakenings think that’s something that should be changed!

In an effort to help make that happen, we are launching our highly anticipated Mind, Body and Soul section in this issue. This annual feature is all about introducing the people behind our amazing health, wellness, eco-friendly and spiritual community businesses. It’s a chance for readers to get to know what inspires these entrepreneurs, what their values are, what they are passionate about and more. Our hope is that this section will help to make readers feel a part of the area’s mind-body-soul community!

In addition to our special section, this issue concentrates on the themes of Creativity for Health and Healing and Integrative Pain Management. Our feature article, “Art’s Embrace: Healing Through Creativity,” focuses on how art can be a powerful force for healing, as well as a source of inspiration and a focus for social change.

We also have a great creativity-centered article for the kiddos: “Creative Kids: How to Nurture Imagination.” 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. This article provides a number of strategies to do just that.

The theme of Integrative Pain Management is addressed in the “Conquering Chronic Pain” article in our Healing Ways section. 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.

Oh, and don’t worry, we didn’t forget that September is National Yoga Awareness Month. “Yoga to Heal Trauma,” in our Fit Body section, addresses how 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.

There are a host of great yoga studios in our area offering a wide variety of classes for all levels and types of practitioners. If you haven’t already done so, maybe this is the month to try your hand at this ancient practice. Trust me, your body, mind and spirit will thank you! And speaking of fitness, we have a local article—“Creative Movement With the Steel Mace”—that explores this full-body conditioning tool that has been rapidly gaining in popularity.

Happy reading, and if you get the chance, I would love your feedback on our annual Mind, Body and Soul section. Here’s to community! Or, in the words of the late, great Fred Rogers, “Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”


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