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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Taking a Chill Pill

Aug 31, 2021 04:54PM ● By Scott Chase

This month’s issue is all about healing, and the subject couldn’t be timelier. It’s probably safe to say that we all have a little whiplash from the drama and uncertainty we’ve been dealing with for the last year and a half. Throw in the perennially crazy weather here—perhaps the only “predictable” thing about living in the Panhandle—and we’re ready to propose the creation of a new national holiday, Spa Day. Instead of standing around a picnic table, eating potato salad and talking politics, we can all chill out together with cucumber slices on our eyelids.


Of course that’s not going to happen, so we’re proposing the next best thing: Read this month’s magazine, which is full of tips for achieving optimal mind-body-spirit wellness, naturally. 


Our Healing Ways column (page 30) covers the latest in mind-body treatments for chronic pain, which affects a whopping 50 million Americans. We all know by now the dangers of prescription pain medications, whose dubious efficacy isn’t worth the potential side effects, which include addiction and even death. Our writer Ronica O’Hara explores various therapeutic approaches that should be considered “alternative” only in the sense that they are noninvasive and nonpharmaceutical; major medical centers, such as Mount Sinai Health System and Cleveland Clinic, are now exploring mind-body practices like meditation and even creative writing for mitigating pain.  


In fact, you don’t have to be the “creator” to receive the benefits of creativity. Just being in the presence of art has a therapeutic effect, writes Sandra Yeyati in “Art’s Embrace: Healing Through Creativity.” From cancer wards to Skid Row to facilities for dementia patients, art in all its forms—visual and performed—is being used to uplift individuals and even whole communities. You can read Sandra’s article on page 27.


One of our missions as a magazine is to help you sort through what’s what in the burgeoning green-and-healthy-living market. If you’re bewildered by all the options facing you in the lightbulb aisle (Yes! It’s now a whole aisle!), turn to our Eco Tips column (page 16) for a breakdown on bulbs. Similarly, on page 18, we offer comparisons of types of cookware. Some types are definitely safer than others. 


But for the ultimate green-and-healthy-living education and shopping opportunity, head to the Emerald Coast Holistic Health Expo, happening Saturday, September 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, September 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Destination-Fort Walton Convention Center (formerly the Emerald Coast Convention Center). This is the biggest holistic health and lifestyle event in Northwest Florida. Admission is free, and there will be vendor booths, demos and door prizes galore. Consider it our thanks to you—our readers, our advertisers and Northwest Florida’s healthy living community—for helping us make it through a roller-coaster 18 months.


So stop by the expo, then pick up some cucumber slices on your way home and celebrate Spa Day. We’ll be chilling with you in spirit.


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