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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

Healing Along the Way

October has arrived, and daily I find myself taking delight in all the scents of the season, including simmering cloves and cinnamon, the aroma of freshly cut herbs from the garden and the crisp smell of cool autumn air, which I really love. Now is a time to get cozy and snuggle up again in flannel everything! Admittedly, I still revel in the childhood pastime of scattering crunchy leaves by hand and foot all around the trails on my afternoon walks. Looking up at the trees themselves, I sense their age-old understanding and am reminded of the ebb and flow of life as I find peace in nature’s balance.

Speaking of time-tested wisdom, our World Medicine theme this month brings us an abundance of it—rooted in tradition, experience and observation. It’s also timely that October 9 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, because Indigenous medicine has been an integral resource for centuries in communities around the world. According to the World Health Organization, 88 percent of all countries are estimated to use traditional medicine such as herbal remedies, acupuncture and shamanism, and I’m happy to say that our feature story reports that these practices are even increasingly being recognized by Western medicine, especially in collaboration with integrative, holistic and regenerative treatments.

Since I’ve always felt aligned with the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself and that nature provides everything we need to support this process, in my home there are a plethora of herbal teas, tinctures, essential oils and other plant-based products that can be used to address a variety of health conditions. As a family, we always look to avoid harsh chemicals and synthetic additives, too, so whenever there is a product or solution that is Earth-based, we are all for that.

World medicine is considered to be reliable and trustworthy, with much of it focusing on natural remedies supporting overall health and well-being, all of which have been proven to be effective and valuable over the years. In fact, plants have been used for their healing properties since ancient times and continue to be an important source of medicinal and holistic remedies. Learn how some of these “lost traditions” are now gaining new respect.

Something else that has withstood the test of time is traditional martial arts, which date back more than 2,000 years and have blossomed into about 200 styles. Originally devised to assist in hunting or protection, most have expanded yet retain a philosophical and spiritual base for mind-body-spirit connection. I remember years ago watching my kids learning taekwondo and being completely fascinated by the discipline, strength and confidence it instilled. I will say it took me some time before I gained the confidence myself to step out on the mat and give it a try, but once I did, it was amazing to witness how it transformed the entire family. We hope you enjoy the information in this issue on a variety of martial art styles as well as an introduction to qigong and tai chi, which are ancient Chinese practices promoting physical and mental health through the use of energy flow and mindful moments.

As we welcome in the cooler temperatures, hopefully you are capturing many moments of revelry and joyful seasonal pastimes of your own. Curl up with this issue when you can and we know you’ll find new insight, inspiration and opportunities for healing along the way.

Yours in Health,

John and Trina Voell, Publishers