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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Here’s to Happy Hearts

Jan 31, 2022 05:05PM ● By Scott Chase

February is the “love month,” the time of the year when we formally express our affections for that special someone. If you’re like me, your first introduction to this month’s formalities was in grade school, when we all passed out our valentines to the other kids in the classroom, giggling and embarrassed. Looking back, it was cute—the first rite of passage into the realm of romance—although young girls seemed to be far less timid than boys in showing affection. I still remember us boys cringing and sinking in our seats when a girl would walk over to deliver her valentine—yet taking it very seriously when we got the candy heart with the I Love You message. In fact, when little Johnny didn’t get the right card or candy from little Sally, he was crushed. Remember that feeling? I sure do. I was brokenhearted when Sally snubbed me; I thought I was going to die. Fortunately I recovered quickly when I got an I Love You heart from Jenny. I can laugh about it now, but I also know that the connection between emotions and health is real.

“They died of a broken heart.” We’ve all heard someone say that at some point. And we’ve all been subject to heartache ourselves, from the first crush that didn’t materialize, to a marriage that didn’t work out, to a loved one who passed away. We all know that familiar pain in the chest that signals emotional trauma. And recent studies suggest there is a science-based connection between our thoughts and feelings and our physical well-being. Our feature article “The Heart-Mind Connection” explains this phenomenon, which so many of us have witnessed in others or even experienced ourselves. It’s not just heartbreak that can negatively affect our health, but also other painful emotions, including anxiety, shock, and anger. Fortunately, experts tell us that “there’s no damage caused by negative emotions that positive emotions can’t heal.” Read all about it, including our healing tips, beginning on page 26.

Our Healing Ways article, “Truly Making Love,” on page 30, will give you and your partner just the excuse you to need to make time for … making time (as they used to say). Turns out lovemaking reduces the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, eases pain, improves brain health and even boosts immunity. That’s a whole medicine cabinet’s worth of better health. We also suggest six (legitimate but less exciting) ways to keep your heart healthy on page 22.

If you’re still in New Year’s “get healthy” mode, make sure to read “Power Up Your Workouts,” our guide to protein powders and shakes, on page 25. Or if you prefer a more traditional nutritional boost, try fermented foods—perhaps the world’s oldest superfoods. Our Conscious Eating article, page 34, includes DIY recipes to get started, like Pickled Carrot Sticks, Curry Kraut, and Rosy Raspberry Soda.

Finally, we’re pleased to share our interview with Dr. Michael J. Coyle, president, and CEO of the Coyle Institute, in Pensacola. He explained how colon hydrotherapy—a process many people assume is an antidote to constipation—is actually a detoxifying procedure that can increase our resistance to disease, especially when combined with a liver cleanse. Read more on page 20.

We hope you enjoy the February issue of Natural Awakenings—and we hope you get the candy with the I Love You message from that special crush. 

And Happy Valentine’s Day to Daralyn, my little crush for 27 years …. Wishing you health and abundance, from the bottom of our heart.

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