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Music as Medicine Music Soothes, Energizes and Heals Us



feel good • live simply • laugh more




The Modern


How to Pack a


September 2016 | Lowcountry-Edition |

contents Natural Awakenings is your guide to a healthier, more balanced life. In each issue readers find cutting-edge information on natural health, nutrition, fitness, personal growth, green living, creative expression and the products and services that support a healthy lifestyle.

15 MUSIC AS MEDICINE Music Soothes, Energizes and Heals Us


by Kathleen Barnes

17 THE MODERN SHAMAN Ancient Practices Heal Body and Soul by Linda Sechrist





24 RELAX AND UNWIND Restorative Yoga Poses Foster Healing by Meredith Montgomery



by Russill Paul



Kirtan Music Transports Listeners to a Deeper Place by Robin Fillmore



Plant-Based Choices Provide Midday Boost by Judith Fertig

Composting Program of the Year


32 RAISING A MUSIC LOVER Kids Thrive to Rhythms of Head and Heart by Randy Kambic


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9 7 newsbriefs 9 healthbriefs 12 globalbriefs 14 community spotlight

12 17 healingways 20 readersnapshot 24 fitbody 28 wisewords 29 consciouseating 24 32 healthykids 34 calendar 39 resourceguide

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contact us Owner/Publisher Toni Owen Conover Senior Editor Sara Gurgen Design and Production T.W.S. Graphics, Lori Sims Stephen Blancett Steve Hagewood Writer Gwen Hughes Advertising Sales Toni Owen Conover Phone: 843-821-7404 Natural Awakenings-Lowcountry PO Box 1001, Isle of Palms, SC 29451 © 2016 by Natural Awakenings. All rights reserved. Although some parts of this publication may be reproduced and reprinted, we require that prior permission be obtained in writing. Natural Awakenings is a free publication distributed locally and is supported by our advertisers. It is available in selected stores, health and education centers, healing centers, public libraries and wherever free publications are generally seen. Please call to find a location near you or if you would like copies placed at your business. We do not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the articles and advertisements, nor are we responsible for the products and services advertised. We welcome your ideas, articles and feedback.

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nyone who has known me for any length of time knows I am a music lover. I grew up with older brothers who listened to good music and one was in a band. Sometimes they would let me play maracas or a tambourine when they rehearsed and I LOVED it. Bear in mind, I was like 4 and they were in high school. I was lucky to inherit a bunch of my siblings’ old 45s (that’s vinyl for you young folks out there). I had original Beatles and Otis Redding songs, and a bunch from the 50s, like The Twist and Please Mr. Postman—and then there were the albums: The Rolling Stones; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; Janis Joplin; and Jimi Hendrix, to name just a few. Then I was able to buy my own records! Schools Out, by Alice Cooper; ABC, by the Jackson Five; and Joy to the World, by Three Dog Night, were among my first. Sure, there were a few embarrassing ones along the way. Admit it, you had some of them, too (Partridge Family anyone?). As I grew older, my taste in music evolved. I lived in a small town far from major concert venues, so I didn’t get to see a lot of concerts growing up. My parents agreed to let me go to see Queen though, and I even got to see them rehearse. I cultivated my love of live music and concerts in college, pleading my case to my professors that I really needed to miss class to drive 10 hours to see David Bowie. I have always turned to music to cheer me up or calm me down. I didn’t need science to tell me that music has the power to heal and transform, but the studies cited in Kathleen Barnes’ article, “Music as Medicine,” are impressive nonetheless. In fact, a study on drumming found that it’s more effective than Prozac for depression and improves the immune system. Speaking of drumming, check out this month’s Reader Snapshot with Moira Duggan, who hosts drum circles on the beach in addition to being a yoga teacher and holistic health coach. I didn’t put a lot of thought into raising a music lover, other than playing music I loved, but my son certainly inherited my love of music. Not only does he love it like I do, but he plays guitar, mandolin and the banjo. Randy Kambic’s article, “Raising a Music Lover,” describes the correlation between early music appreciation, larger vocabularies and advanced reading skills, among other benefits. That was true for my son, and I am happy about that, but mostly I am happy that music gives him as much joy as it gives me. So play music for your babies. It may make them smarter, but it can definitely make them happier. September is also National Yoga Month. We have several excellent articles on yoga and a yoga directory. I love gentle and restorative yoga and can attest to the benefits described in Meredith Montgomery’s article. If you have thought about trying yoga but are hesitant because you think you aren’t flexible enough, or skinny enough, do yourself a favor and read local yoga teacher Ashley Bell’s article, “Considering Yoga.” This issue is full of things I love, including one of my favorite local organizations and places, bliss Spiritual Co-op. If you’ve looked in our calendar section recently, you may have noticed all sorts of classes being offered at bliss—from yoga to art to cooking to prayer groups—all for free, donation optional. I found bliss after I was laid off, uncertain about my future and counting every penny. I am so grateful to founder Tish Voit and all the instructors and volunteers who make bliss happen. Check out our Community Spotlight to learn more.

I hope September is full of things you love.

In health and happiness,

Toni Owen Conover, Publisher


1/2 off

Healing Oasis Adds Massage to Its Menu of Services


avid Lucas, a recent graduate of Southeastern Institute massage therapy school, has joined the staff of Healing Oasis as its massage therapist. He is also part of the backbone of Healing Oasis as co-founder, architect, maintenance man and landscaper. He feels these are also an important part of his ministry. Lucas states that he has been affectionately named “unicorn” by his instructors because there is just no other like him in the massage world. His gifts of intuition, strength and tender compassionate touch make his massages unique. His favorite part of massage is foot reflexology, which he incorporates into all of his sessions. Healing Oasis will be celebrating the addition of massage therapy to its practice by offering half off massages as well as several of its other services during the months of September and October.

(regular $65 hour session)

Swedish, Deep Tissue, Reflexology

Location: 772 St. Andrews Blvd., West Ashley. For more information, visit See ad on this page.


772 St. Andrews Blvd Charleston SC

New Elixir Bar


he Elixir Bar at Eucalyptus Wellness Company opened in August. The bar offers healthy, innovative drinks that go beyond that which is found at typical juice and smoothie bars. In addition to fruits and vegetables, the bar incorporates Chinese herbs, ayurvedic elements, medicinal mushrooms and supplement powders sourced from all over the word to deliver maximum nutrition to every cell of the body. There are three different categories of drinks. Handcrafted specialty elixirs are created to balance energy, support the body’s natural defenses and enhance the brain. They include names like Beauty Burst, Brainstorm, Immune Delight and De-Stressor. The second category is blended signature drinks. These contain supplements designed to heal the body and soothe the soul. Drinks offered include Get Your Green On, Love Potion, Pomegranate Power and Protein Up. The third category includes herbal-infused tonics steeped with specially selected herbs and teas.

Healing Oasis,

Offer Ends Oct. 31, 2016


Location: 280 W. Coleman Blvd., Ste. E, Mt. Pleasant. For more information, visit See listing, page 41.

Second Annual Peace Walk and Peace Jam


he Branch of Peace Foundation is proud to announce the second annual Peace Walk to be held at James Island County Park at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 18, in partnership with the Living Green Festival. The Peace Walk is an opportunity to contribute to the growth of peace locally and globally and to grow support for peace-building initiatives in South Carolina, which ranked seventh in violent crime per capita among all states, according to violent crime data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2014 Uniform Crime Report. In addition, the Branch of Peace Foundation will be sponsoring Peace Jam on the International Day of Peace, Wednesday, September 21, at the Music Farm, in Charleston, starting at 9 p.m. Musicians include Little Bird, Whitehall, the Night

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Caps and Del Sur, with special performances by DJ Willy Soul and the Taiko Drummers of Charleston. The mission of the Branch of Peace Foundation includes four pillars of action that grow the capacity for peace: public education, conflict resolution, public policy advocacy, and environmental sustainability initiatives. To sign up for the Peace Walk, support a walker, donate to the event, or sponsor the event, visit For Peace Jam ticket information, visit

Health and Environmental Education at the Living Green Fest


his fall, the Charleston County Park and Recreation hat if you could learn all you need to know about Commisgetting healthy and staying healthy during a one-week sion (CCPRC) expands its health and Caribbean vacation? Well, it’s possible! In fact, National Geowellness education within the festival graphic Traveler has chosen Holistic Holiday at Sea as “one of formerly known as the Carolina Green the 100 best worldwide vacations to enrich your life.” Fair, and introduces a new name for the This unique event is the brainchild of Miami health event. The Living Green Fest takes place educator Sandy Pukel. Pukel had been doing health educational programs in from noon to 5 p.m. at James Island Miami for four decades when he decided to take his event to sea. His first cruise County Park on Sunday, September 18. attracted 400 people; more than a decade later, his educational program has Each year, the festival features a exploded and is now one of the largest holistic events in the country, hosting variety of environmentally friendly ven1,800 like-minded cruisers. dors, activities, artisans, entertainment With 45 teachers, 145 classes, a delicious vegan menu (with regular ship and much more. The premier sponsor of menu options available) and a social/party almost every night, the program has this year’s festival is Charleston County something for everyone interested in health and longevity. Guests choose daily Environmental Management, who will from a wide spectrum of classes and workshops ranging from several types of be on hand to highlight the county’s iniyoga, fitness and meditation to presentations on integrative medicine, plant-based tiatives, like recycling and composting, nutrition, 10 cooking classes and many lectures given by some of the world’s and also to educate residents on the leading authorities in holistic health, including Drs. T. Colin Campbell, Michael many offerings available to make their Greger, Neal Barnard, Michael Klaper and Caldwell Esselstyn 9/1Jr. Add all this to homes and businesses ecofriendly. four exotic ports of call on the upcoming March 11 to 18, 2017, sailing, and SEI-Charleston This year’s fest will feature more you can see why National Geographic gave Holistic Holiday at Sea such high 540-1234-NA-NewDirection-mt-4x3 health and wellness information, venAwakenings marks. According to founder Pukel, “The event is a relaxingNatural vacation/educational dors and activities for the whole family. experience that has profoundly changed thousands of lives.”4.75 x 3.25 PK Activities include a new adult boot 8/17 camp workout program, two familyFor more information, call 800-496-0989 or visit friendly yoga sessions, a King of the (sand) Mountain relay, a bike rodeo, Lowcountry Bubble Soccer, a Kid Zone and Eco-Carnival for the little ones, and stand-up paddleboarding, which will be offered via walk-up registration from the park center’s boat dock area. Additionally, there will be a mechanical bull, jump castles, climbing wall and more. All fitness activities will be included with the purchase of a $10 wristband for adults, and kids’ activities With a career in will be included with the purchase of Professional Clinical Massage Therapy a $5 wristband. Admission to the event Additional programs include: Medical Assisting • Pharmacy Technology is free with $2 per person regular park Electronic Medical Billing & Coding Specialist entry fee, or free for Charleston County Parks’ Gold Pass members.

A Voyage to Well-Being


888.866.8251 Main Campus: Charleston, 4600 Goer Drive For information on graduation rates, student debt levels, and other disclosures, visit


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Vegan Diet Benefits Kids’ Heart Health


esearch from the Cleveland Clinic has found that a plant-based diet could be more effective than even the American Heart Association’s recommended five-food-groups diet for reducing childhood heart disease. The research, led by Cleveland Clinic pediatrician Michael Macknin, tested 28 obese children between the ages of 9 and 18 that had high cholesterol levels. For four weeks, 14 of the children ate the American Heart Association diet, while the other half ate a vegan, plant-based diet. Children on the plant-based diet were found to have significantly lower weight, systolic blood pressure and total cholesterol numbers, and improved mid-arm circumference, body mass index and level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. They also had lower levels of insulin and two heart disease markers, myeloperoxidase and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein—all indicating improvements in their cardiovascular health. By comparison, children on the American Heart Association diet saw significantly lower weight, waist circumference, mid-arm circumference and myeloperoxidase levels, indicating enhanced immunity, but did not exhibit the other improvements. “As the number of obese children with [unhealthy] high cholesterol continues to grow, we need to have effective lifestyle modifications to help them reverse their risk factors for heart disease,” says Macknin. “Cardiovascular disease begins in childhood. If we can see such significant improvements in a four-week study, imagine the potential for improving long-term health into adulthood if a whole population of children began to eat these diets regularly.”


esearch from Poland’s Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine, in Lodz, has determined that a pulsed-frequency electrotherapy treatment can significantly improve the functional abilities of multiple sclerosis patients. The researchers tested 20 multiple sclerosis patients randomly divided into two groups. For 60 minutes, one group was given the frequency therapy and the other underwent exercise therapy. The frequency therapy group showed improvement in nine of 10 different evaluation tests of each patient. The patented High Tone Frequency technique was developed by Dr. Hans-Ulrich May, a professor of medical engineering from Germany’s University of Karlsruhe.


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September 2016



Breast Milk Supports Preemies’ Developing Brains


study from the Washington University School of Medicine, in St. Louis, Missouri, has found that premature babies that receive at least 50 percent of their diet from breast milk in their first month have significantly better brain development than babies that consume less breast milk. The researchers tested 77 infants born an average of 14 weeks before their full nine-month term— referred to as preterm or preemie. The brain scans of the infants were compared with how much breast milk they received while in the natal intensive care unit. Mother’s breast milk was not distinguished from breast milk provided by others. Senior researcher, physician and child psychiatry professor Cynthia Rogers explains, “With MRI scans, we found that babies fed more breast milk had larger brain volumes. This is important because several other studies have shown a correlation between brain volume and cognitive development.” Preterm birth has been linked with neurological and psychiatric problems later in life, and the researchers plan to continue to study the children. “We want to see whether this difference in brain size has an effect on any of these developmental milestones,” says Rogers.

Vitamin C-Rich Produce Guards Against Cataracts


esearch from King’s College, in London, shows that dietary vitamin C reduces the development of cataracts that interfere with vision by obscuring the lens of the eye, keeping light from striking the retina. The researchers followed 324 pairs of female twins for 10 years. Food questionnaires were administered to each pair to determine their intake of dietary nutrients. The researchers also examined each of the twins’ eyes for the development of cataracts. The scientists found those that consumed the most foods with vitamin C had fewer cataracts than those that ate foods with less of the vitamin. These findings did not apply to supplemental vitamin C, helping researchers better understand the superior nature of natural vitamin C. Natural vitamin C contains multiple bioflavonoids, rutin and several co-factors, such as factors J, K and P, tyrosinase and ascorbinogen. Senior study author and eye surgeon Dr. Chris Hammond says, “The findings could have significant impact, particularly for the aging population, by suggesting that simple dietary changes such as increased intake of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthier diet could help protect them from cataracts.”

What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens. ~Ellen Glasgow 10

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Astaxanthin Aids Muscle Recovery


study of Serbian soccer players has found that astaxanthin can significantly decrease inflammation and improve the rate of muscle recovery. Astaxanthin supplements are derived from golden microalgae such as Haematococcus pluvialis. Conducted by researchers from the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, the double-blind study tested 40 young athletes for 90 days. The players were recruited from a Serbian soccer club and split into two groups. Half were given four milligrams of astaxanthin per day, while the control group received a placebo. After three months of astaxanthin supplementation, the researchers found that muscle enzymes had decreased, indicating the rate of players’ muscle recovery had improved. They also found decreased neutrophils and C-reactive protein (CRP), both markers for inflammation, signifying a corresponding reduction. In addition, the group taking astaxanthin showed significantly higher levels of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), an immunity defense system in the mucosal membranes of the mouth, digestive system, lungs and other regions. Increases indicated a rise in first-defense immunity among these athletes. This same group also showed significantly lower oxidative stress levels, contributing to an improvement in exercise recovery.

Black Raspberries Bolster Heart Health


esearch from Korea University Anam Hospital, in Seoul, South Korea, has found that black raspberries significantly decrease artery stiffness and increase heart-healthy endothelial progenitor cells (EPC), which assist in repairing damaged blood vessels. The study tested 51 patients that met at least three criteria for metabolic syndrome, including waist circumference measurements, high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and/or symptoms of glucose intolerance. The subjects were split into two groups; one received 750 milligrams per day of black raspberry extract for 12 weeks, while the other group received a placebo. The researchers assessed the radial artery augmentation index, a measure for blood vessel wall stiffness, and values for this measurement decreased by 5 percent in the black raspberry group. The placebo group’s levels increased by 3 percent. In addition, EPC counts increased in the black raspberry group by 19 microliters, versus a drop of 28 microliters in the placebo group. Black raspberries contain a number of heart-healthy compounds, including phenolic acids, resveratrol, flavonoids and tannins.

Less Sleep Brings on the Munchies


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ecent research from the University of Chicago’s Sleep, Health and Metabolism Center has found that not getting enough sleep increases a cannabinoid chemical in the body that increases appetite. The result is a lack of control in snacking. The researchers tested 14 young adults by comparing the results of four nights of normal sleep with four nights of only four-and-a-half hours of sleep. The researchers found that after reduced sleep, the subjects’ hunger increased significantly and their ability to resist afternoon snacking decreased. This surge in snacking urges also matched significantly increased circulating levels of endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol, which peaked in the afternoon, coinciding with the increase in snack cravings. “We found that sleep restriction boosts a signal that may increase the hedonic aspect of food intake,” concludes lead study author Erin Hanlon, Ph.D., from the University of Chicago Medical Center.


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onthecover globalbriefs News and resources to inspire concerned citizens to work together in building a healthier, stronger society that benefits all.

Lying Labels

New Term Disguises High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Nigel Barker – Photographer Cristen and Kimberly Chin, known as @ChinTwins, of Chinese and Irish descent, started modeling at a young age working for magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Allure and Elle, as well as fashion houses such as Yohji Yamamoto, Kenzo, Gaultier, Armani, Valentino and Gucci. As youngsters, both shared a love for yoga and dance, which gave them the grace and poise that was instrumental to their success in the fashion industry. Both certified RYT-200 yoga instructors in their 40s now, these mothers, wives and sisters are in the best shape of their lives. The creation of their joint Instagram account in 2014 has grown through a worldwide community of followers that tune in to the ChinTwins for inspirational messages for mind, body and soul. Now living more than a 1,000 miles apart—Kimmy in coastal Alabama and Crissy in New York—their lives remain intertwined as they emulate each other and continue to share their stories, motivating and helping like-minded people to think and move outside the box. The twins were photographed by Cristen’s husband, Nigel Barker, a noted fashion photographer, author, filmmaker and former model himself. He is best known as a photographer and judge on the reality show America’s Next Top Model, and is currently the host of another show, The Face. 12

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Kinesthetic Kids New Desks Aid Learning via Movement

Educators at Charleston County schools, in South Carolina, know that more movement and exercise makes kids better learners, even as the amount of time devoted to physical education (PE) and recess has been declining sharply in the U.S. “If you ask anyone in education if they prefer PE or class instruction, they say instruction every time,” says David Spurlock, coordinator of health, wellness and physical education for the Charleston County school district. “Yet, what we’re trying to show is that more movement equals better grades, behavior and bodies.” Charles Pinckney Elementary School, in Charleston, employs Active Brains, a program that uses 15 stations through which students rotate during the class. Each station has a unique exercise component such as a mini-basketball hoop or an exercise bike, and is focused on a different academic task such as spelling or math flashcards. This is the first classroom in the U.S. equipped with only kinesthetic desks. The program has been in operation for three years and has a waiting list of students excited to try the new approach.

photo courtesy of

Chin Twins

The Corn Refiners Association (CRA) has resorted to creating a new label for high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) by calling it “fructose syrup” or just “fructose” because numerous scientific studies have linked it to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and autism. HFCS is a highly processed chemical sweetener used in many processed foods, including breads, cookies, candy, condiments and soft drinks. It extends the shelf life of products and is often cheaper than sugar, the primary reasons manufacturers use it. Standard HFCS contains from 42 to 55 percent fructose. The new term is being used when foods contain HFCS-90, which has “just” 90 percent fructose. Identifying HFCS-90 as an ingredient bizarrely gives food makers a green light to use statements such as “Contains no high-fructose corn syrup” or “No HFCS” on the product label, thus misleading buyers. Bart Hoebel, a psychology professor at Princeton University, reports, “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese; every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”

Hello Escargot

Pest Control Without Chemicals

Healing Recipe Cooking May Be the Future of Medicine

In 2010, chronic disease accounted for 86 percent of all healthcare spending; four years later, the cost of treating heart disease alone totaled $315.4 billion, including medication and hospital care. At the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University, medical students are learning cooking skills to better advise patients on regaining and maintaining their health through nutrition. By getting them to approach healthful food preparation with ease and awareness, this next generation of doctors is striving to provide building blocks for long-term health management. “When we see healthier eating, we see more disease prevention and fewer hospital stays, which means less money spent on health care,” says Chef Leah Sarrris, program director. Since 2012, 20 medical schools have adopted Tulane’s program, including the University of California-Los Angeles Clinical and Translational Science Institute, University of IllinoisChicago and University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, in a partnership with the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts. Students complete eight classes of three hours each, and fourth-year students can choose from seminars that focus on different clinical interests, including nutritional support for those coping with celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, diabetes or pregnancy. Students also teach free public cooking classes. This integrative understanding of health care may change the way the medical system operates. Source: Yes magazine

Indian runner ducks have been used in Asia for thousands of years to control pests. Now they’re being used in a South African vineyard to eat snails that damage the vines. On the Vergenoegd Wine Estate, in Stellenbosch, South Africa, about 1,000 of the well-behaved quackers parade twice a day into a vineyard to rid it of pests, as they have done for at least 30 years. Denzil Matthys, the duck caretaker at Vergenoegd, confirms that the ducks help make the farm sustainable. “We try to keep a pesticide-free farm by using the ducks,” he says. Marlize Jacobs, the farm manager and winemaker, says snails are a big problem at Vergenoegd because of the vineyard’s proximity to the ocean. “After winter, the vineyards bud,” she says. “Those buds are succulent bits of food and snails love to eat them. If we don’t control them, they will absolutely destroy the vineyard.” Watch a video at

Nuclear Advancement

Aerospace Giant Closes in on Superior Fusion Power Lockheed Martin scientists have made a breakthrough in developing a nuclear-fusion-based power source, and estimates that the first commercial reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be available within 10 years. “We can make a big difference on the energy front,” says project head Tom McGuire. The company has been working for 60 years to find a way to make a power source based on nuclear fusion as a safer and more efficient alternative to the fission reactors in use since the Cold War era. Nuclear power plants produce dangerous radiation as a byproduct and leave behind toxic nuclear waste that can endure for centuries. By contrast, fusion, which powers the stars, occurs when small, light atoms such as hydrogen smash together to form heavier atoms, releasing enormous amounts of energy. To date, scientists have been unable to initiate fusion reactions on Earth without using more energy than the reaction produces. Preliminary work suggests that it will be feasible to build a 100 megawatt reactor 10 times smaller than traditional fission reactors. That’s enough power to light up a city of 80,000 homes. Lockheed Martin is now seeking government and industry partners to build a prototype. Source: Reuters

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bliss Spiritual Co-op by Mary Hutchins Harris

I stumbled upon bliss and they offered me soup. I was afraid to leave because it was like I’d wake from an accepting, loving, blissful dream. ~ Carol Stang Moore


good chef will tell you the key to a good recipe, one that keeps people coming back for more, is its ingredients. A chef with skill, imagination and faith will be able to take a basket of unknown ingredients and make something that feeds body and soul. How? James Beard Award-winning chef Thomas Keller says: “A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” Tish Voit, founder and director of bliss Spiritual Co-op, brings soul to those who enter its doors by saying yes. And the yeses don’t stop with her. In a house slightly off the beaten path between Charleston and the northern reaches of Mt. Pleasant, brightgreen shutters and an open door offer all who enter a space called bliss. Yes, bliss with a small B, which says quite a lot about the philosophy of why this unique space thrives and why people keep coming back for more. It begins with acceptance: someone waiting to say yes to all who visit. Dreamed into being by Voit’s own yes, bliss Spiritual Co-op could seem more like folly than an answer to a prayer. But the groundwork was laid by many yeses before the lights twinkled on the table to welcome those approaching the front door. After her insistent dream, a business plan came into being, along with untold offers of help—of yes—which made bliss the dream into bliss the reality. The cozy, retreat-like house includes two creative art studios, a full working kitchen, an inspirational library, a workout studio, a meditation room, a healing room, an


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organic garden, and three classrooms that began with 20 classes a month three years ago. bliss now offers more than 100 classes per month.    “Whether it is through body movement, creating art, discussing things that matter or spending time one-to-one laughing or crying, bliss opens people up,” says Voit. “Participants, who learn from others, can say yes to new exploration of their capabilities, as they offer a community of support and encouragement for facilitators to express and perfect their unique talents.”

“bliss fills a community need that we may not even realize that we have until we have visited.” ~ Sylvia Barnhill Most importantly, each class is offered free of charge to anyone who wants to learn a little more about how to honor his or her heart and soul. Finding connections in others just seasons the pot. bliss is not bankrolled by deep-pocket sponsors but by a plethora of volunteer facilitators who offer time, skills and heart, along with others who turn on lights and start coffee, meet monthly to guide its growth, clean inside or pick up sticks in the yard— who add their own ingredients to the simmering pot of yes that is bliss. “Every day I see success stories,”

enthuses Voit. “People have shown up from all over the world, sometimes not really knowing why but finding themselves here in a reinvention story—their own—and the tears and the goosebumps come to both of us. In a world that lacks time and space to share for sharing’s sake, without a preconceived notion of payback, to explore and incubate dreams in a safe space seems pretty rare. The bliss retreat house is the cookpot for a soup whose ingredients are ever changing all the time, but it is definitely the goodness of the participants’ offerings that makes the soup unimaginably tasty.”

“bliss is my new sanctuary. Love is so strong there. It’s my home away from home!” ~Tim Shaw bliss welcomes those from every faith and background to grow and learn in a supportive, nurturing environment and to add their own unique contribution to the community that is bliss.

Tish Voit, founder and director of bliss Spiritual Co-op

For more information, visit Mary Hutchins Harris is the communications director for bliss Spiritual Co-op. Her writing has appeared in print and online publications, including Charleston Style and Design, Cumberland Valley Parent and Ryuku Quarterly. Her chapbook, A Tongue Full of Yeses, was selected for publication in the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Chapbook Contest. She is an adjunct professor in Lesley University’s master of fine arts program. See ad, page 30.

Music as Medicine Music Soothes, Energizes and Heals Us by Kathleen Barnes


s primeval drumbeats echo across an African savannah, the rhythms circle the globe, picked up by the chants and rattles of shamans gracing Amazonian jungles and Siberian tundra. They’re repeated in Gregorian chants filling medieval cathedrals and “om” meditations sounding in Himalayan caves and yoga classes everywhere. They gently echo in the repeated tones of mothers’ lullabies, happy hummings as we go about our day and the melodies of Mozart. Music is the soundtrack of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. It exists within, uniting and guiding us, and has helped heal body and spirit since the dawn of humanity. National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists recently discovered that the universe itself has a song.

Pioneering Practitioners

From the soothing tones of a harp to the jarring screeches of a construction site, the stress-reducing or stress-producing properties of sound are familiar to us all. “Stress is an underlying cause of the vast majority of all illnesses, and sound and music are effective in relieving stress and bringing stillness,” says Jonathan Goldman, an internationally recognized pioneer in harmonics and sound healing and director of the Sound Healers Association in Boulder, Colorado. Through researching his many books, including The 7 Secrets of Sound

Healing, Goldman is convinced of the profound effect sound has on the human organism. “The simple chanting of the sound ‘om,’ or ‘aum,’ in addition to instilling calmness and relaxation, causes the release of melatonin and nitric oxide. It relaxes blood vessels, releases soothing endorphins, reduces the heart rate and slows breathing,” he explains. “Sound can change our immune function,” wrote the late Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, former director of medical oncology at New York’s Weill-Cornell Medical College for Complementary and Integrative Medicine in his book The Healing Power of Sound. “After either chanting or listening to certain forms of music, your Interleukin-1 level, an index of your immune system, goes up between 12-anda-half and 15 percent. Further, about 20 minutes after listening to meditative-type music, the immunoglobulin levels in the blood are significantly increased. Even the heart rate and blood pressure are lowered. There’s no part of your body not affected. Its effects even show up on a cellular and sub-cellular level.”

Practical Applications

Consider some of music’s scientifically validated health benefits: Stress: Singing, whether carrying a tune or not, is a powerful way to combat stress, according to many studies. A recent joint study by German and British researchers published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience confirms that

simply listening to soothing music results in significantly lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The more intense the experience is in singing or playing an instrument, the greater the stress reduction. A collaborative study by several Swedish universities showed that group singing caused participants’ heart rates to synchronize, producing relaxation effects similar to that achieved through group meditation. Cancer: Gaynor used music to treat even advanced cancer patients for decades, considering it a “disease of disharmony.” He advocated re-harmonizing the body with sound vibrations that affect virtually every cell, especially enhancing immune function and potentially preventing cancer from spreading. Gaynor primarily used crystal bowls to produce deep relaxation and harmonize dysrhythmic cells in patients, but also confirmed the healing effects of certain vibratory tones of drumming and Tibetan metal gongs. Several studies confirm that listening to any kind of soothing music relieves anxiety in cancer patients; a large study from Philadelphia’s Drexel University confirms that it also relieves pain, lowers blood pressure, improves breathing and minimizes nausea associated with chemotherapy. Depression: Drumming can better counter depression than the prescription drug Prozac, according to a recent study by England’s Royal College of Music. Those that participated in a weekly drumming group experienced significantly reduced symptoms compared to a control group. Substance Abuse: University of California, Los Angeles, scientists found that drumming was especially helpful for a group of Native Americans struggling with such issues. Smartphone Addiction: Korean research found that music therapy is helpful in overcoming this condition. Immune Dysfunction: The same British study of drumming’s antidepressant effects saw similar improvement in immune function, plus an anti-inflammatory response that continued for at least three months after the study period. Neuroendocrine Disorders: Researchers at Pennsylvania’s Meadville Medical Center Mind-Body Wellness Group found that drumming effectively

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September 2016


helped drummers (skilled and unskilled) suffering from neuroendocrine disorders such as pituitary tumors and intestinal issues caused by disconnections between the endocrine gland and nervous systems. They further confirmed that group drumming reduced stress chemicals such as cortisol in the drummers. Muscle Tension Dysphonia: Even tuneless humming sounds like “umhum” can have a measurable therapeutic effect on individuals that have lost their voices due to overuse. Pain: When a group of British citizens suffering from chronic pain joined a choir, a Lancaster University study found they were better able to manage their condition for improved quality of life. Just listening to harp music for 20 minutes decreased anxiety, lowered blood pressure and relieved pain in a group of U.S. heart surgery patients with short-term pain participating in a University of Central Florida study in Orlando. Alzheimer’s Disease: In addition to reducing the agitation and anxiety frequently accompanying Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at Florida’s University of Miami School of Medicine found that a group of patients that participated in music therapy for four weeks experienced increased levels of the calming brain chemical melatonin.

How It Works

“Humming or singing causes longer exhalations than normal, helping to naturally eliminate toxins and acidity,” says Dr. Madan Kataria, of Mumbai, India, who has spawned 5,000 laughter clubs worldwide. “We started experimenting with the vowel sounds and humming sound. An early unpublished humming study I did in Denmark showed that people that hummed anything for just 10 minutes were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by 10 to 15 points, their

In Nigeria, we say that rhythm is the soul of life, because the whole universe revolves around rhythm; when we get out of rhythm, that’s when we get into trouble. ~Babatunde Olatunji, drummer and social activist diastolic by four to five points and their pulse rate by 10 beats per minute.” Kataria found that people with breathing problems like asthma and emphysema experienced especially positive effects because it strengthened belly muscles used in breathing. Kataria is also a fan of kirtan—Hindu devotional call-and-response chants often accompanied by ecstatic dancing. “Kirtan takes away self-consciousness or nervousness and anxiety,” he says. Dr. Eben Alexander, who recorded his near-death experience in Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife, says the “indescribable” cosmic music he experienced has helped him come to understand the effects of specific sound frequencies on the brain. He now provides audio tools to help bring the brain to a higher state and help it match that higher and more conscious state. In his medical practice in Charlottesville, Virginia, he often employs music from a patient’s past to help them emerge from a brain injury or coma and even “reconnect pathways in a damaged brain.” Alexander explains that binaural beats and other sound effects combine to create “brain entrainment” and also in theory, “monotonize” it to free awareness and access realms other than the physical. “It’s magical what the right type of music can do to the brain stem to free up our consciousness,” he observes.

No Talent Needed

Experts agree that people without musical talent are able to experience the same

Nature’s Healing Sounds The calming sounds of rushing water and gentle breezes are well known; science is now confirming the therapeutic effects of singing birds. Belgian researchers confirmed that bird song helps drown out the stressful effects of traffic noise, and Korean scientists found it makes people feel less crowded. A study published in the American Journal of Physiology showed that it can even help regulate participants’ circadian rhythms, contributing to restful sleep and overall wellness. 16

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benefits as virtuosos, based on their degree of engagement with music. Anyone can hum, and most research confirms that benefits are enhanced in creating music rather than merely listening to it. Group singing has become increasingly popular, especially following the hit TV show Glee. Time magazine reported in 2013 that 32.5 million American adults sang in choirs, up about 30 percent from a decade earlier. The choice of musical genre matters. Recent data from Montreal’s McGill University shows that types of music tend to have specific effects; for example, blues slows heart rate and calms an anxious person, rock and punk can boost energy, and reggae can help control anger.

Spirit Moves

The spiritual aspects of virtually all types of music cannot be underestimated, says Michael Hove, Ph.D., a cognitive neuroscientist affiliated with Harvard Medical School and Fitchburg State University, in Massachusetts. His research has primarily focused on drumming to induce altered states of consciousness that shamans from diverse cultures use to bring about physical and emotional healing. What Hove calls a “boring and super-predictable” drumbeat of 240 beats a minute induced a deep trance state within minutes in most subjects, and brain scans confirmed that it enabled them to focus intensely and block out distracting sounds within eight minutes. This aligns with Alexander’s view that, “The sound of music is absolutely crucial in launching us into transcendental awareness. For the true, deep seeker, sound and vibration and the memory of music can serve as a powerful engine to help direct us in the spiritual realms.” Kathleen Barnes has authored numerous natural health books, including her latest, Our Toxic World: A Survivor’s Guide. Connect at

Spirituality is an extension of the inner being’s connection to what the conscious mind longs for, to seek a higher awareness and realize one’s full potential.


~Richard L. Alaniz

The Modern Shaman Ancient Practices Heal Body and Soul by Linda Sechrist


o longer shrouded in mystery, the ancient spiritual practice of shamanism is attracting the interest of psychologists, registered nurses and medical doctors that study its guiding principles to use personally and benefit others. They train one-on-one and in small groups with indigenous shamans in the U.S. and around the world and enroll in programs offered by established schools such as the Foundation for Shamanic Studies and The Four Winds Society. Both offer workshops and expeditions for participants to meet the specific shaman that teaches congruent philosophy, practices and principles. Since 1986, The Four Winds Society, with international headquarters in Miami, Florida, has graduated more than 10,000 practitioners. It teaches a genuine respect for the sacredness of metaphysical forces existing in all natural beings and objects and the connection between the material world and spiritual plane. Dr. Daniel Rieders, a physician specializing in cardiac electrophysiology and interventional cardiology, completed the society’s basic curriculum in 2014. Having matriculated to advanced master classes, he uses shamanic understanding, tools and skills for personal use and in his complementary medical practices, Life Rhythm Therapies and

Jain Ayurveda for Optimum Health, in Palm Coast, Florida. He notes that medical procedures and prescriptions aren’t always the answer to problems. “I’ve studied various areas of medicine and found them devoid of tools and methods that empower patients to make changes that lead to better health. Studying shamanism means being on my own healing path of cleansing body, mind and spirit. It’s necessary for any empowered healer that aspires to inspire and generate confidence and assertiveness in others, enabling them to do what is needed to live out their life purpose,” he says. Rieders found shamanism to be an effective complementary therapy for

strengthening the body and building resilience. One of his patients was unhappy with his job, feeling it only served to support a costly family lifestyle. Upon discerning his true desire was to own a gym and teach people how to get healthy, he took action. “A heart procedure was no longer necessary. Stored anger can create heart disease, as well as cancer,” he remarks. Seti Gershberg’s life changed dramatically while studying shamanism in the remote Peruvian Andes, where he lived with the indigenous Q’ero people for two years. Taking a break from a career in international investment banking, he set out to learn about a shaman’s relationship to energy, consciousness and the supernatural, with an eye to creating a system of universal reciprocity, balance and harmony. He was also interested in indigenous people’s views of the relationship of the physical world with self, con-

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September 2016


sciousness and multi-dimensional space-time as a single interwoven idea; a continuum. “Today, I’m an executive producer and creative director in Phoenix, Arizona, working on a video series, TV commercials and films, including two documentaries on shamanic rituals and ceremonies, as well as the Q’ero culture,” says Gershberg. He practices the Q’ero shaman’s gift of Ayni, giving of our self first without asking for anything in return. His website,, offers a “pay what you can afford” option. Sean Wei Mah, a Native American Cree, grew up on a reservation in Alberta, Canada, around tribal medicine men that practiced smudging, ceremony and ritual. “Smudging, by burning fine powders, considered sacred medicine, is significant to any shaman as holy medicine to cleanse the body. It’s part of Native American life and the foundation of how we communicate, give thanks to and ask for help and guidance from the Creator. Ceremony is our church and smudging is how we purify it,” says the shaman, artist and actor known as “The Rattlemaker”. Angaangaq Angakkorsuaq, a shaman, healer, storyteller and carrier of the Qilaut (wind drum), is an elder from the Kalaaleq tribe, in Greenland. His family belongs to the traditional healers from Kalallit Nunaat. Endearingly known as Uncle, he has traveled to 67 countries to conduct ceremonies including healing circles, sacred sweat lodge purification and Melting the Ice in the Heart of Man intensives, where he teaches the spiritual significance of climate change. He advises, “A shaman’s responsibility is to guide you on your inner path and support you in recognizing your beauty so that you can love yourself and know who you truly are. A shaman guides you to a new level of consciousness through teachings, storytelling and ceremonies, which my grandmother taught me were the key. All of this helps you rely on your own inner guidance.” Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at 18

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Interview with Local Shaman Dr. Wendy Perrell NA: When did you become a shaman? How does one go from the military to the corporate world to obtaining a Ph.D. to being a shaman? Perrell: Asking when I became a shaman is kind of like asking when I became a girl. The military provided an avenue to step away from home to see what was beyond my back door. It was probably harder to be a woman than it was to be a shaman in the military. I didn’t work with another woman until well into my career. My travels took me to countries where shamanism is more accepted than it is in this country. I felt more at home in some of these other places than in the town where I grew up. My Ph.D. program was on Native Alaskan Leadership. This focus on intuition based leadership really resonated with me. Stepping into the corporate world helped me recognize my abilities and how those abilities can help people survive in that kind of setting. Now, when I work with those employed in a corporate environment I am able to sense their energy and how they function in that atmosphere. All these pieces of my background needed to come together to help me use what I have. Words don’t teach, experience does. The day I was accepted into my shamanism program I was working in my corporate job. I was somehow put on an email list about the program. I inquired and was told that the program was full. The shaman wrote and asked me why I wanted to pursue the program and I responded. She contacted me and said she had never exceeded her class size before, but she was “getting a yes” and said I could join the program. I could not stop crying. I thought to myself, “What is wrong with you?” but now I realize it was my soul saying, hurray, you finally found me! That was September of 2013. I finished the program in December of 2015.

missing. A shaman goes into journey with their guides. They journey back to the traumatic experience and help retrieve the abandoned part of their soul. Sometimes people will feel a noticeable difference immediately; sometimes it can take up to six months.

NA: Where was this program and what was it like? Perrell: The program was online with a shaman from Maryland. The beauty of it being online was there were students from all over the world in the program. There were doctors, lawyers, psychologists and shamans from all walks of life in the program. One of the first things we focused on was ridding ourselves of judgements. Our judgements cut us off from ourselves, our spirit and our soul connection with others. We spent a lot of time journeying to animals, plants and oils to find out their healing properties and to find out what messages they had for us.

NA: What exactly is journeying?

NA: Does the individual have to re-experience the trauma? Perrell: No, there is no need for that.

NA: Aren’t some things just physical though? What about genetic inheritance? Perrell: Cells, stories and energy can be passed down. I used to have several conditions my mother had that I no longer have. There is always a cellular response going on. Meditation can help change your energy and your thoughts and that can lead to healing. There is always an emotional and spiritual component. A shaman helps you get rid of the stories and energy holding you back and gives you room to heal yourself.

Perrell: It is kind of like a guided meditation. You allow your soul to connect with your guides. You leave your body and your soul connects with your guides to take you to where you can best get the answers you need for yourself and others. First, I thought shamans only dealt with plants, animals and trees. I connect with a bear guide, but I kept getting this green ray of light and then this blue ray. It turned out to be Archangel Raphael and Archangel Michael. Archangel Raphael is my guide and master teacher. He is the one who is always with me showing me what is needed for healing and guiding me. Archangel Michael is with me to make sure I stay on the right path. We also did a lot of soul-based work, like soul retrieval.

NA: What types of services and programs do you offer? Who can benefit?

NA: What is soul retrieval?

Perrell: I am more in the flow and more congruent with everything that I think, say and do. I only believe a portion of what I see and I trust my intuition more. For more information on Dr. Wendy Perrell, see listing, page 41.

Perrell: If someone has a traumatic experience, sometimes the energy leaves the body and part of their soul remains out of the body. They often have this pervasive feeling that something is

Perrell: I offer soul coaching to help people align with their soul’s purpose, workshops, and new and full moon rituals. I offer channeled readings with Archangel Raphael and serve as a spiritual development teacher and mentor. I facilitate healing by helping people release dense energy from their cells. I help people remember their knowing. I have worked with people from all different kinds of backgrounds, from children to couples and families to healthcare workers and other professionals.

NA: How has your life changed as a result of what you have learned?

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September 2016


readersnapshot Who’s a Natural Awakenings Reader? Meet Moira Duggan About you: I am originally from Scituate, Massachusetts. I moved here last September from Boston. I sold my house and left my corporate job to pursue a life of health and spiritual living full time as a registered yoga teacher and a certified holistic health practitioner. I started practicing yoga in 1997 as a low-impact exercise without realizing the profound personal transformation that was unfolding. Yoga exposed me to the path of self-inquiry and deep self-love that was missing in my life, and as the layers slowly started peeling away, I found peace within myself and a loving way to be in the world that had not existed before. Yoga brought me to a life of living, learning, sharing, and seeking truth and a community of like-minded beings. In 2006, I started my own organic skin care company as a means of creative expression and to offer natural and safe health and beauty products in a grassroots way. This experience eventually led me to a formal study of holistic health at IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition, in New York City). The experience brought wisdom from prominent thought leaders in the community, and deep connection and sharing with my fellow students and clients. I wanted to empower others to experience the deep healing and transformation that I had, beginning on the yoga mat. In 2015, I completed my 200-hour teacher training in Boston. Work/mission: It is my wish to share this path with any and all who seek transformation. I feel my mission in life is to share of myself. 20

NA Lowcountry Edition

Favorite thing about Natural Awakenings: Mainly that it is always so positive and uplifting. I love the interesting articles and the community events section. I feel like this magazine is written just for my tribe! Why did you decide to teach beach yoga? What additional benefits does it bring? We live in such a beautiful place. I consider nature my church, and the ability to practice outdoors year round is one of the reasons I moved here. Practicing on the beach (especially at the sacred hours of sunrise and sunset) is a way for us to reconnect with the rhythms of nature. You have unique challenges practicing outdoors that you don’t experience in the controlled studio environment. Wind, sand, uneven footing, the sounds of children playing, unleashed wet dogs … it’s imperfect. But life is imperfect. Learning to find your bliss, stillness, connection—whatever it is your yoga provides you that day—in imperfect conditions is what life is all about. It strengthens your practice. It strengthens your connection to your inner guidance, if you allow it. Listening to the sound of the ocean as you tune into your own breath, allowing the birds around you to inspire your bird pose, finding grace and stillness reflected in the movements of nature, feeling the wind and sun on your skin, breathing the salt air, watching the sun rise or set out of the ocean—these are the reasons I find beach yoga so fulfilling, and I love to share it! What should someone expect when doing beach yoga for the first time? If they practice with me, I encourage my students to focus within. It’s not a competition. Yoga is your own personal practice and I encourage my students to explore their edges, challenge themselves and be open to discovery. Every class is different. Come with an open mind and leave your cell phone in the car!

Do not eat immediately before practice. Bring a towel and water for hydrating; wear sunscreen, if appropriate. Mats are not necessary on the beach. Wear comfortable clothing. You may want to wear or bring your swimsuit and take a refreshing dip after class. It’s a great way to wrap up the experience. How long have you been organizing drum circles and what piqued your interest in them? I have always loved the steel drums and African and Native American drumming. It’s so primal and hypnotizing. I’m not a drummer, just a music lover; but I’ve always appreciated the rhythms and vibration of drums, and I am a firm believer in sound therapy. Because I love celebrating the seasons and the beauty of the full moon, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have a drum circle to usher in the full moon of the spring solstice?” So I threw the idea out on Facebook to see if anyone was interested a few days before the solstice. The idea obviously resonated with many others because we had about 60 people show up that first time! Drummers, belly dancers, fire throwers, hulahoopers, curious onlookers. We were all drawn to the beach to witness and share in this event. It was magical, and continues to be. How many drum circles have you had locally? We had so much fun the first time, everyone wanted to make it a regular thing. So now we have one every full moon. It’s a great community event. It’s FREE, open to all, kids love it, dogs are welcome, people of all ages and abilities enjoy it. My favorite part of it (other than the amazing talent that continues to show up and bless us) is the openness of everyone who attends. We all just want to hang out and experience the drum under the rising full moon. No requirements, no restrictions. Just community coming together for a shared experience. What kind of turnout have you had? Usually between 50 to 100 people. Even in the iffy weather we had about 50 people who braved the threat of rain to come together. I always say, “It’s always sunny on Folly,” and we’ve

been blessed with great conditions and turnout each time. What else might someone expect to see at one of the drum circles? We encourage everyone to come—bring your drums, rattles, tambourines, cymbals, flutes and noise makers, or make your own (kids are great at this!). We love the belly dancers, fire throwers, hula-hoopers, jugglers and dancers who come and participate and add to the evening. Some people bring chairs, coolers, sparklers, glow sticks, or just a beach blanket. I always offer a beach yoga class (6:30 p.m.) just before the drum circle to help “get in the flow.” We’ve had folks doing acroyoga and other forms of self-expression, which are beautiful. I just love to see people doing what they love, enjoying themselves and being part of this amazing community of open-hearted people; and I hope it continues to grow.



oogle “yoga in Charleston”and you will get a long list of options. Yoga classes are being offered all over the lowcountry, in studios, gyms and community centers—even on the beach! Check out the Reader Snapshot with Moira Duggan, of Healing Tree Holistic Health and Yoga (see previous page), to learn more about beach yoga. Yoga is not just for the young, flexible yogini able to twist into a pretzel or stand on her head. Yoga can help anyone at any age or stage. See article on page 22 by Ashley Bell, of Ashley Bell Yoga and Reverb Charleston (opening late 2016, early 2017). Her article is a useful guide for someone thinking about trying yoga but not sure where to begin. Check out the yoga classes offered by our advertisers and supporters below. Ashley Bell Yoga and Reverb Charleston (opening late 2016, early 2017) Pacific Box and Crate, 1503 King St, Ste 200, N Charleston

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Yoga Den

September 2016


Considering Yoga?

1) Ask Questions Reach out to nearby studios to inquire about beginner or fundamental classes. Yoga studios typically do not have regular business hours and often only open for 15 minutes before or after scheduled class times. Business phones rarely exist in yoga studios, because their constant ringing would be a disruption. To connect, visit a studio’s website for an email address. Write to request recommendations and share your reasons for pursuing a yoga practice. Different styles have different benefits. If there are health concerns that limit your ability to fully participate in physical activity, share that information when asking about appropriate classes. Well-intentioned health professionals will recommend yoga to those with injuries without any real understanding of the demands of a typical yoga practice. Always share information about physical limitations and concerns (including pregnancy) with instructors before class as well, asking for guidance with modifications as needed.

2) Embrace Your Beginner Status

by Ashley Bell


hile many seek out yoga for stress reduction, the challenge of finding an accessible class can create its own level of anxiety for potential students. According to a 2016 study conducted by the Yoga Alliance, 61 percent of yoga practitioners come to yoga seeking flexibility, with 56 percent attending for stress management and 49 percent to improve overall health. Holistic health professionals and traditional doctors routinely suggest yoga for patients and clients who need to develop greater body awareness, mobility and stability. And yet, the prerequisite level of flexibility and strength required to safely and skillfully participate in a majority of classes eludes many, if not most people. Vinyasa yoga (including styles such as power and flow) continues to be the most widely offered style of yoga at boutique studios and local gyms. A vinyasa class makes fairly rigorous demands of healthy, able bodies and moves at a more rapid clip than any other yoga style. Simply discerning one yoga style from the next can be perplexing as well, with studio schedules often populated with classes elusively named for elements and weather phenomenon. Here are some suggestions for those considering yoga for the first time.

A majority of studios only offer introductory classes once per week or in a series format. While these classes may not meet at ideal times, spending a few hours over the course of a few weeks investing in a strong foundation will allow you to benefit more fully from the practice moving forward. Practitioners who jump into a class designed for students with experience, hoping to catch on as time passes, can suffer from their limited knowledge of foundational concepts. The bad habits that result may lead to injury down the road. If the neighborhood studio does not offer beginner classes, a few gentle or restorative classes can acquaint new students with yoga terminology and methodology in a gradual, supportive way. Yin yoga classes also move slowly enough to make new students more comfortable. Instructors take more time cuing students in and out of yin postures, and the longer hold times allow space for introducing and exploring philosophical and anatomical concepts. You may even find that these styles of yoga help you find balance far better than the complex postures pervasive on magazine covers. While vinyasa yoga has garnered the lion’s share of attention, other more grounding styles continue to rise in popularity.

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3) Schedule a Private Session If you find it difficult to make regularly scheduled classes, then arrange a private session with a local instructor. If your neighborhood studio doesn’t allow for on-site private instruction, you’ll find that many yoga instructors will happily meet you at your home or another mutually agreeable location. A studio may provide Ashley Bell contacts, or you could consult your preferred search engine to find a certified teacher in your area. When visiting instructor websites, read bios and search for instructors who have attended a 200-hour training at minimum and have been teaching regularly for at least three to five years, if possible. While these sessions cost more than a drop-in or workshop rate ($75 to $125 compared to $10 to $35), the benefit of individualized instruction justifies the investment. To make the rate more affordable, consider sharing the session with a friend.

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4) Let Go of the “Shoulds” Many would-be yogis abandon ship after a handful of sessions because they feel as though they should glide from one shape to another with the ease of a dancer or stand unwavering on one foot like a stone sculpture. With repetition, yoga never becomes easy but rather more easeful. Standing stick straight in a balancing pose doesn’t make someone an advanced student. Falling with grace might. Your yoga practice should not look like anyone else’s. No one will test you on your ability to touch your toes, sit still for 20 minutes, or pronounce chaturanga prior to attending class, or at any point thereafter. Yoga requires that you accept today’s circumstances, and from that place you can align with your potential to grow out of old patterns and into greater freedom. Remove the burden of expectations, which limit access to opportunity, and ultimately joy. In The Heart of Yoga, T.K.V. Desikachar writes of starting a practice: “We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens.” It may take a few tries to find the right class, teacher or style of yoga to meet your needs; but for those who find entry into the practice, yoga can be a game changer, if not a lifesaver. Ashley Bell has been teaching yoga in the Charleston area for 13 years. At the start of 2017, she will open Reverb Charleston, a resource for mobility, stability and stressmanagement practices to include yoga-inspired movement and creative arts experiences. Through Reverb, Bell aims to remove the anatomical, philosophical, cultural and financial barriers that often prevent people from connecting with embodied mindfulness practices. She lives in Mount Pleasant with her two children. natural awakenings

September 2016



Relax and Unwind Restorative Yoga Poses Foster Healing by Meredith Montgomery


n classical yoga, teachers often sequence instruction toward reaching a pinnacle pose such as an inversion or arm balance. In restorative yoga, the peak pose is savasana—in which the practitioner fully relaxes while resting flat on their back. Leeann Carey, author of Restorative Yoga

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Therapy: The Yapana Way to SelfCare and Well-Being, explains, “This passive asana practice turns down the branch of the nervous system that keeps us in fight-or-flight mode and turns up the system allowing us to rest and digest. It feels like a massage for the nervous system and encourag-


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es self-inquiry, reflection and change, rather than perfection.” The physical, mental and spiritual benefits are similar to those of active yoga, but because poses are held longer and supported by props such as bolsters, blankets, belts and blocks, “There’s no stress on the tissue and joints. Each pose gifts us with longer-lasting benefits, including more time for the mind to unwind,” advises Carey. “Restorative yoga allows both muscles and the brain to recover from fatigue, so we are stronger, sharper and better able to act in the world afterward,” explains Roger Cole, Ph.D., a certified  Iyengar yoga teacher in Del Mar, California, and a research scientist studying the physiology of relaxation, sleep and biological rhythms. He attests that it also serves as preparation for pranayama (mindful yoga breathing) and meditation, which require a clear, well-rested, focused mind. Perfect for beginners and used by longtime practitioners to complement other yoga styles, restorative poses are designed to accurately realign and reshape the body. They also can be therapeutically tailored to support natural healing for issues related to tension, premenstrual syndrome, weak immune functioning, back pain, pregnancy and recovery for athletes. “Poses for healing may require targeted gentle stretching, but prop use will coax the body into desired positions without requiring muscular effort,” says Cole. An early student of B.K.S. Iyengar and familiar with props, San Francisco resident and co-founder of Yoga Journal magazine Judith Hanson Lasater, Ph.D., found herself leading her first class comprised entirely of supported poses during a power blackout at a 1980 workshop. “I didn’t want people walking around in the dark, so I improvised a restorative class and everyone loved it,” she recalls. She revisited the idea several years later when she personally felt the need for physical, emotional and spiritual restoration. For a year, 90 percent of her practice was supported poses, and

the switch helped her so much that it inspired her first book, Relax and Renew: Restful Yoga for Stressful Times. She’s since written more books and trained teachers in restorative yoga around the world. As in classical yoga, a restorative sequence should be balanced with asanas (positions) from all pose classifications—backbends, twists, inversions and forward bends. It takes time for the body to comfortably settle deeply into a pose—as long as 15 minutes—therefore, a 90-minute restorative class may include only a handful of asanas. Lasater says, “Most people don’t need more of anything from the culture in which we live. They need much more to learn to be still and at ease.” In today’s yoga world, which seems to emphasize power and action, “Restorative yoga has become imperative to balance activity and ambition with stillness and being,” she continues. Lasater notes that while many classes are reducing savasana to as little as three minutes, students need 20 minutes. Carey clarifies that because this approach focuses on opening and letting go, rather than striving for the biggest stretch, “Sensation-seeking yogis may need to shift their perspective. The biggest challenge is often quieting the mind while the body is still. When a student is uncomfortable because the mind is screaming, it helps to compare it to having tight hamstrings in an active class. We’re not chasing relaxation; just breathe, feel and watch,” she says. “Eventually, everything will let go.” “The more our mind rebels against relaxing, the more we need it,” observes Lasater. Students often turn to yoga as a strategy for feeling whole, and she suggests that one of the best ways to find clarity within is to listen in stillness, one savasana at a time. “It’s a gift to ourself, our family and the world,” she adds. “When we feel rested, we’re more compassionate and ready to serve the greater good.”

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Meredith Montgomery, a registered yoga teacher, publishes Natural Awakenings of Gulf Coast Alabama/Mississippi ( natural awakenings

September 2016


The Yoga of Sound by Russill Paul


hat do the ear and voice have to do with our health? A lot more than you would expect! Developing our ears and voice through chant can have real and lasting effects on our health and happiness. Medical research attests to a number of measurable effects when chanting, such as improved circulation and the production of beneficial proteins in our cells. This article aims to inform

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readers of a simple way to tap spiritual and psychological benefits through sound. Relevant to this discussion is a growing awareness of the Yoga of Sound, a long-standing tradition within Indian spirituality that has been in existence for millennia. In this context, sound is the medium for yoga, a means by which the goals of yoga are realized. In other words, improved health and spiritual enlightenment can be attained through a deeper understanding of the inclusion of sound in spiritual practice. And no postures or stretches are necessary in these instances, which is good news for those who shy away from yoga studios. Even so, there is a widespread interest in chanting within the American yoga community today. Chanting, like gospel music, has become a form of spiritual expression that is bringing yoga practitioners together with non-yoga practitioners and transforming yoga studios into places of worship. Chant has long been used in cultures worldwide for healing and to tap deep spiritual states. Shamanism, for instance, has always used sound as a primary means to change the consciousness of the person who is ill into someone free of illness. Benedictine monks have chanted for 1,500 years for their spiritual well-being without realizing that the benefits were physical and mental as well. When one Benedictine community in France cut out chanting from its daily schedule, the monks who had worked hard on the land for decades started to fall ill. Famous physician Alfred Tomatis, who was called in to treat the monks, restored their health simply by reintroducing chant into their schedule. Tomatis, among others, has contributed immeasurably to our understanding of the ear and voice’s relationship to our health. Health, we are fast realizing, is not simply the absence of disease; it is a condition of soul that invigorates our being, enabling us to derive the most from life. Additionally, the effects of yoga as well as sound vibrations upon our health and wellbeing have garnered enormous credibility in recent decades. What if we can combine the two to bring about wholeness? That’s the idea behind the Yoga of Sound, a tradition of sacred sound with a great scope and depth, which intersects intimately with the development of yoga in Indian spirituality. There are a number of components in the Yoga of Sound, for instance, sound and breath. There are also different modalities, such as musical expression, meditation techniques, and the use of language. Mantras are one of its spiritual technologies. And just as important are methods of listening. Where does one start? How does one begin? With the OM, of course. OM is not only a mantra, it is an auditory symbol of divine presence. Its implication is similar to the Hebrew “Amen,” a way of saying “yes” to God’s presence in the moment. Here’s a way that you can tap the experience of OM: 1) Create a nice, resonant sound that builds up the vowel “o” in volume that smoothly transitions into the consonant

“mmm”; 2) Try to prolong the consonant in a manner that the sound gently decreases in volume until barely audible; 3) Finally, follow the resonance created by your own voice into the quiet of your mind. Chanting the OM in this way has two benefits. The first is the yogic or spiritual benefit, while the second is the practical or psychological benefit. First, the spiritual, the yogic. It may appear that chanting OM is an invitation to create sound. That is true. But the real value of the sound production is to lead into silence. This silence, however, is not an absence of sound, any more than stillness is the absence of movement. In the silence (and stillness), we discover presence. And that presence is no ordinary presence. It is spiritual power that is compacted into a spaceless space, which is the source of all life and consciousness. God’s presence, really. The direct awareness of this living power transfers its qualities onto the individual who becomes aware of it. This, however, takes some practice to tap. The second, practical, benefit is easily tapped by anyone right away. How often the words “you are not listening to me” polarizes our key relationships. Well, here’s a way to improve it. Practicing the OM using the threepart method described can actually make you a better listener. And when you listen better, your relationships improve. So even if you do not arrive at a lofty spiritual experience when chanting OM, you can learn a lot about yourself. Are you a good listener, or is your mind busy when you listen? Can you listen to the sound of your own voice without a busy mind? If you can learn to do this with OM, you can listen to others more attentively and better your relationships. Guaranteed! Russill Paul is the author of The Yoga of Sound: Tapping the Hidden Power of Music and Chant and several best-selling yoga chant CDs. He will be presenting at Unity Church of Charleston, Oct. 14-16. Russill is founder of Yogic Mystery School and offers a chanting pilgrimage in India each year. To learn more and take a free course, visit




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September 2016



Inside the Chant with Krishna Das

Kirtan Music Transports Listeners to a Deeper Place by Robin Fillmore


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How would you introduce your music? Across the country and around the world, yoga practitioners are chanting the names of God in tongues including Sanskrit, Hindi, Punjabi and English. They’re taking kirtan music out of the temples and the yoga studios and into dance halls, universities, cathedrals and other unexpected places. In the last decade, India’s traditional call-and-response form of chanting has been reinvented by modern devotional artists blending traditional kirtan with modern genres such as rock, rhythm and blues, hip-hop and electronica—breathing new life and devotion into yoga’s sacred chants. Photo by Payal Kumar


nfluential spiritual leader Ram Dass has described Krishna Das (Jeffrey Kagel) as an example of someone whose “heartsongs” open channels to God. The Grammy-nominated kirtan artist, long considered yoga’s rock star, consistently plays to sold-out crowds worldwide. The Long Island native’s journey has gone from being a member of a popular rock band to going to India, where as a student of spiritual leader Neem Karoli Baba, the trajectory of his life and music shifted and expanded. His 1996 debut album, One Track Heart, focused on updated chants from the ancient tradition of bhakti yoga, followed in 1998 by Pilgrim Heart, with a guest appearance by Sting. Since then, a steady stream of 14 albums and DVDs produced on his own label have provided the soundtrack for yoga classes everywhere; the soothing rhythmic chants performed in a deep, rich timbre complements instruction in the spiritual element of the exercise. Das’ specialty, kirtan, updates an ancient tradition of devotional chanting as meditation accompanied by instruments. A kirtan concert invites audience members to join in the experience through chanting, clapping and dancing and is characterized as a journey into the self that also connects us with each other.

What does kirtan mean to you? For me, kirtan is all about the music. The more ways I practice sustainable health, balance, love and music and immerse myself in a spiritual life, the more I realize that all issues distill down to simple facts. Everyone wants to be loved and happy, and to avoid suffering and being judged. Looking at our lives, we start to see how we hurt ourselves and others and how what happens to us in daily life can be difficult to deal with. We recognize that we must find deep inner strength so we don’t get destroyed by the waves that come and try to toss us around.

Little by little, all of our awakening practices work to transform our life. They move us from being externally oriented and reactive to being established within and quietly responsive. We come to have a wider view that life can effectively contain and envelop the different facets of ourselves and the world.

Why do many consider a kirtan event a transcendent experience far beyond the music? There are two things: the music and where the music is carrying us. In this case, it’s the names of God, of divinity, that are real and inside us. We can call this higher sense anything we like and aim in that direction according to how we identify with it. If we want peace in the world, then every individual needs to find peace within. We can’t create peace or happiness with anger and selfishness in our heart and mind. We can release ourselves from a limiting storyline, whatever it is, and touch a deeper place for a while. Then, when we return to our day, we are standing on slightly different ground because we have trained ourselves to let go a little bit. It’s a gradual process that takes time and effort, but it’s a joyful practice.

Do you see a shift in thinking echoing that of the 1960s that positions us to do better this time? In the 1960s, everyone thought they were going to change the external world, but they forgot they have to change themselves, too, and little work was done inside. Today, while most people keep trying to first rearrange the outside world, more are now doing the necessary inside work, as well. The key is to understand what’s truly possible. If we don’t understand how we can be happy and at peace in the middle of a burning fire, we won’t recognize the tools available to create that kind of light for ourselves and others. Robin Fillmore is the publisher of the Natural Awakenings of Washington, D.C, edition.


VEGAN LUNCHBOX Plant-Based Choices Provide Midday Boost by Judith Fertig


e all have good intentions to eat more fruits and vegetables, and it’s easier if we start with just one plant-based meal a day— lunch. Natural Awakenings has enlisted the help of vegan lunchbox experts to help us all enjoy easy-to-make and colorful feasts good for home, office, school and on the road. “Vegan food offers so much variety, especially at lunch,” says Johanna

Sophia, of Pine Plains, New York, who recently hosted the online series The Raw Lunchbox Summit. “A vegan lunch gives an extra boost in the middle of the day for more brain power, clarity and energy.” She and her two children operate Johanna’s Raw Foods, which makes vegan fast food such as veggie burger bites and carrot crackers, available at health food stores. Laura Theodore, the vegan chef

Natural Awakenings recommends using organic and non-GMO (genetically modified) ingredients whenever possible.

and recording artist who presents The Jazzy Vegetarian PBS television program, lives and works in the New York City area. After a childhood dominated by bologna sandwiches for lunch, she gradually changed to vegan dishes. “I began to notice a difference when I ate mostly plants,” she says. “I could do more and think better.” Theodore favors colorful and delicious vegan foods that travel well in a lunchbox with a cold pack, so she can take them to rehearsals or wherever else she goes. She creates her zucchini fettuccine with a vegetable slicer and loves to end a meal with something naturally sweet, like her maple-raisindate truffles. Such experimenting in the kitchen led to her newest cookbook, Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a Plant-Based Diet. Brandi Rollins, Ph.D., a researcher at Penn State, in State College, Pennsylvania, found that switching her lunch habits to plant-based dishes made her feel better. The author of Raw Foods on a Budget determined that one of her favorites is a quick raw vegan pizza. She first marinates ingredients for 20 minutes: three medium mushrooms, thinly sliced, with oneand-a-half tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, one tablespoon of olive oil, one minced clove of garlic and a big pinch of Italian herb seasoning. Then she spreads half of a mashed avocado on a four-by-four-inch flax cracker and tops it with the marinated mushrooms, plus chopped tomato, peppers or other favorite options. Rollins advises, “You can pack all of the components individually, and then assemble the pizza at work.”

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September 2016


ConneCtions that nourish Your soul

Health Foods Chef Catherine Blake, in Maui, Hawaii, studied with renowned plant-based nutritional scientist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. She urges her culinary students to ask, “What can I do to sparkle a little bit more tomorrow?” The author of Healthy Recipes for Friends, answers the question in her online presentation, Cooking for Brain Power, at Blake’s favorite brain-power luncheon booster is a wrap with antioxidant-rich fillings, accompanied by homemade almond milk, sunflower seeds or walnuts for vitamin E and some favorite blue berries or purple

grapes. She makes fresh almond milk by grinding raw almonds in a nut grinder, and then adding them plus an equal amount of filtered water to a high-speed blender. After processing and straining out the solids, the resulting nut milk is perfect for smoothies. Changing our diets one meal at a time gives us an opportunity to see if we can feel the difference, as our vegan lunchbox experts have, while we ramp up our taste for healthier eating. Judith Fertig writes award-winning cookbooks and foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS. Connect at


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Pack a Plant-Based Lunch

Lots of Garlic Hummus Yields: 4 servings Accented with the tangy taste of fresh lemon juice and a bit of heat from the chili powder, this is an easy, readymade sandwich spread for a lunchbox. 1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp filtered or spring water, plus more as needed 5 cloves garlic, chopped 2 Tbsp sesame tahini 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ tsp chili powder, plus more for garnish ¼ tsp sea salt Place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Add a bit more water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Transfer the hummus to a decorated bowl and sprinkle the top with a pinch more chili powder to taste for a festive presentation.

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Recipe by Laura Theodore, Vegan-Ease: An Easy Guide to Enjoying a PlantBased Diet

Zucchini Fettuccine with Fresh Tomato Salsa Yields: 4 servings This raw side dish is low in calories, a breeze to prepare and cool fare on a hot summer day. The zucchini strips look and taste a lot like fresh pasta. 2 medium zucchini 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped 10 to 14 leaves fresh basil, minced 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 /8 to ¼ tsp sea salt Freshly ground pepper to taste Shave the zucchini lengthwise with a vegetable peeler to make the “noodles”. Put them in a large bowl and add the tomatoes, basil, oil and garlic. Toss gently until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Recipe by Laura Theodore, The Jazzy Vegetarian

photo by Warren Jefferson

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Sullivan’s Island Farmers Market

1921 I’On Ave (in front of Poe Library), Sullivan’s Island April – June • 2:30 – 7pm FRIDAY

James Island Presbyterian Church Farmers Market


ick any day of the week and there’s a farmers market taking place in the Charleston metro area. Farmers markets are a great place to purchase fresh, local produce that is better for people, better for the planet and better for the local economy. They give those in the community an opportunity to meet the farmers and artisans that work hard to provide food and products for area families. From seasonal fruits and vegetables to locally raised meat to arts and crafts, Charleston area farmers markets have it all. They are also a lot of fun, a great place to see neighbors, and sometimes there is even live music. And, of course, there is always a smorgasbord of delicious food! We hope this calendar makes it easy to find farmers markets in the area. SUNDAY

Awendaw Farmers and Crafters Market 4765 N Hwy 17, Awendaw April 17 - Dec 18 • 11am - 3pm

North Mt Pleasant Farmers Market

Folly Beach Farmers Market

Folly River Park Center St, Folly Beach March – Nov • 6 – 9pm

James Island Presbyterian Church Farmers Market

(at Rusty Rudder) 3563 N Hwy 17, Mt Pleasant 11am - 3pm north-mt-pleasant-farmers-market

1632 Ft Johnson Rd, James Island Seasonal • Wed 1 – 6pm; Fri 1 – 6pm; and Sat 9am – 6pm special-services/farmers-market

Sunday Brunch Farmers Market

NEW! West Ashley Farmers Market

1977 Maybank Hwy, James Island (behind the Pour House) Seasonal, beginning in March 11am - 3pm MONDAY

Freshfields Village Farmers Market

165 Village Green Ln (Crossroads of Kiawah, Seabrook and Johns Islands) June - Aug • 4 - 8pm TUESDAY

Colleton Farmers Market

506 E Washington St, Walterboro May – Oct Tues 2 - 6pm; Sat 10am – 2pm

Mt Pleasant Farmers Market 645 Coleman Blvd, Mt Pleasant 3:30 – 7pm WEDNESDAY

Carnes Crossroads Farmers Market (at the Green Barn) 513 Wodin Pl, Summerville May – Aug • 3 – 6pm farmers-market-at-the-green-barn

Ackerman Park 55 Sycamore Avenue, Charleston September 14 – October 26 3:30 – 7:30pm WestAshley THURSDAY

Daniel Island Farmers Market

1632 Ft Johnson Rd, James Island Seasonal Wed 1 – 6pm; Fri 1 – 6pm; and Sat 9am – 6pm special-services/farmers-market

MUSC Farmers Market

171 Ashley Ave, Charleston Year-round • 7am – 3:30pm SATURDAY

Charleston Farmers Market 329 Meeting St, Charleston (Marion Square) April 9 – Nov 26 • 8am – 2pm

Colleton Farmers Market

506 E Washington St, Walterboro May – October Tues 2 – 6pm; Sat 10am – 2pm

Goose Creek Farmers Market

150 Howe Hall Rd, Goose Creek Seasonal • 8am – 2pm info/?tab=page_info

James Island Presbyterian Church Farmers Market

1632 Ft Johnson Rd, James Island Seasonal Wed 1 – 6pm; Fri 1 – 6pm; and Sat 9am – 6pm special-services/farmers-market

161 Seven Farms Dr (in front of Volvo Car Stadium), Daniel Island May 5 – Sept 1 • 3 – 6pm danielislandfarmersmarket

Johns Island “Homegrown” Sustainable Farmers Market

Moncks Corner Farmers Market

John Wesley United Methodist Church - Seeds of Hope Farmers Market

418 E Main St, Moncks Corner April 7 – Dec 16 • 3 – 7pm

North Charleston/Park Circle Farmers Market

3546 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island Year-round • 10am – 2pm

626 Savannah Hwy, Charleston June – Oct

Mixson Farmers Market

4800 Park Cir, N Charleston Seasonal • Noon – 7pm special-events/farmers-market.aspx

4338 McCarthy St, N Charleston April – July Second Sat of month, 10am – 2pm

Summerville Farmers Market

200 S Main St, Summerville April – Dec • 8am – 1pm

natural awakenings

September 2016





Advertise in our

October Chiropractic Issue

Raising a Music Lover Kids Thrive to Rhythms of Head and Heart by Randy Kambic


resounding chorus of research shows that the traditional three R’s of essential early education should also encompass an M for music. Playing instruments prior to and during school years can put children on a tuneful path to lifelong benefits.

Helpful Resources

A 2015 study by the National Association for Music Education ( shows that youngsters harboring an early appreciation for music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers. The research also revealed that schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2 percent graduation rate and 93.9 percent attendance rate compared to others averaging 72.9 and 84.9 percent, respectively. A recent study by the Children’s Music Workshop (ChildrensMusic, which provides instructional programming for more than 25 Los Angeles-area public and private schools, cites a host of additional benefits. These highlight music education’s role in developing the part of the brain that processes language; improving

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NA Lowcountry Edition

spatial intelligence; thinking creatively; gaining empathy for people of other cultures; encouraging self-expression and teamwork through playing as a group; and achieving higher grades both in high school and on standardized tests. Higher institutes of learning are equally involved. Boston’s Berklee College of Music ( offers majors in making it as a music professional, performance music and music therapy, plus postgraduate degrees. Its annual five-week summer performance program in “Beantown” furthers the skills of 1,000 U.S. and international children 12 years old and up. In addition to musical skills, “We see improvement in young people’s confidence and persona,” says Oisin McAuley, director of summer programs. “It’s a truly formative experience.” In addition, The Berklee City Music online program serves high schools nationwide, assisted by alumni in some cities. It also awards scholarships for participation in the summer performance activities in Boston. The nonprofit Young Americans ( organization, launched in 1992, operates its own college of performing arts in Corona, California, that fosters artistic, intellectual

Be open-minded enough not to label innovations in genres as junk; whatever kids are drawn to should be fine. ~Dayna Martin and personal growth for those working toward becoming performers or arts educators. Its International Music Outreach Tours have brought workshops to K through 12th grade students in nearly all 50 American states and 15 countries in Europe and Asia.

Starting Out

“Don’t force children to play music. It’s better when they want to do it on their own. Having instruments around the house can make it easier,” suggests Dayna Martin, a life coach and author of Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun, near North Conway, New Hampshire. Learning music can also decrease math phobia, similar to the way in which children that love to cook and follow recipes learn math, she points out, because math and music are undeniably interconnected. As part of a self-taught passion for medieval history, her 17-year-old son Devin is building a replica of a Vikingera log house on the family’s property and has made several stringed instruments steeped in the historical period using mathematical principles. “When children apply math to further their interest in music, it makes more sense to them than when it’s some problems in a workbook, and they pick it up

more readily, which instills a lifelong appreciation of mathematics as an essential tool,” she observes. Jamie Blumenthal, a boardcertified music therapist and owner of Family Music Therapy Connection: North Bay Music Therapy Services (, in Santa Rosa, California, works predominantly with special needs children. “Autistic children love music, and playing wind instruments like flutes and whistles helps work the muscles around the mouth, assisting with speech development,” she says. Singing, keyboards and percussion instruments are other tools she uses. “Many parents want their child to become accustomed to social settings. Because their child loves music, they’ll often seek a group music forum,” notes Blumenthal. Family Music Time (FamilyMusic, in Fort Myers, Florida, is one of 2,500 affiliated centers nationwide and in 40 countries that follows music CDs provided by Princeton, New Jersey-based Music Together ( Drumming and singing sessions with parents and children up to 5 years old help them gain a music appetite and early group music-making experience, according to Director LouAnne Dunfee. At her studio, local professional musicians also conduct private lessons in piano, guitar and trumpet for children ages 6 and up. Children playing instruments can mean much more than just music to our ears.

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Instrumental Finds Here are some of the organizations that collect and provide musical instruments for youngsters.

FREE introductory conversation

Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, Hungry for Music, Fender Music Foundation, Music for Minors Foundation, VH1 Save the Music Foundation,


natural awakenings

September 2016


calendarofevents Our calendar is filled with classes, workshops and events that feed your mind/ body/spirit and promote a healthy lifestyle. All submissions for the October issue must be received no later than September 10. Basic listings are a maximum of 40 words, not including the day/date, and cost $5/month. Words exceeding the 40word maximum will be charged at $0.50/word. Highlighted events are $0.50/word plus $10/photo. Submit calendar entries at

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 Massage in the Garden – 4-6 pm. Relax, recharge, and reduce stress with mini chair massage and reflexology sessions at Harold’s Cabin roof top garden. $20/15min. No advanced registration needed. Harold’s Cabin, 247 Congress Street, Charleston.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3 Mat Pilates – 9:30-10:30am. Also held 9/10 and 9/24. Standing & floor work to promote balance and strength using body weight. Facilitator: Kerry Blackburn, personal trainer with 20 years of experience specializing in overcoming chronic health issues. Free. bliss Spiritual Co-op 1163 Pleasant Oaks Drive Mt. Pleasant. 610-585-5842.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5 Beginning Drumming with Ed Mickle – 6:30pm. Four sessions for novice drummers. Each Monday in September. Includes care of drums and hands, basic drum sounds, unison and polyrhythms. $75. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness 209 Stallsville Loop Road, Summerville. 843-810-5953.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 Empathic and Spirit Attachment Classes – 7-8pm. Wednesday series teaches how to deal with taking on others’ energy, transmute negative energy into positive, psychic cords, the higher self and the lesson within the problem. $25. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston. LotusCharleston. com.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8 Awaken Your Ability: An Introduction to Mediumship – 7-9pm. With Carol Cottrell. Class Dates: September 8, 15, 22 & 29. To learn more or register, visit and click on Events. Jumpstart Your Intuition – 6-8pm. Learn to tap into the psychic senses and your body’s natural wisdom with Rev. Intuitive, Medium, Cindy Boehley. Bring a notebook or journal. $22. Prepay at Paypal. me/CharmedSC. No refunds. Charmed, 217 Lucas Street, Mt. Pleasant. RSVP: charmedonshemcreek@

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 Get “LIT” Happy Hour FUNraiser – 4-7pm. Kick-off celebration for a monthly book club facilitated by local authors. Meet & greet, introduction & readings, book sales & signings, happy hour beverages & appetizers, tour of bliss Retreat House, new connections. $10. bliss Spiritual Co-op 1163 Pleasant Oaks Drive Mt. Pleasant. Kristy Dominiak. 843 801-4882.


NA Lowcountry Edition

Healing Beyond Borders Level 2 Class Fri. Sept. 9 • 9am-7pm Sat. Sept. 10 • 9am-6pm

Emphasizes experiential learning and developing healing sequences for specific client needs: assessment process, interviewing skills, recording observations, and documentation. Fabulous Back techniques.17.5 CE’s. $310. Fee includes workbook. Info/registration call Janet 843-388-1834. Location: Roper Mt. Pleasant Medical Office Bldg., Mt. Pleasant.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Healing Singing Bowl Meditation – 7-8pm. With Linda LeShay. Sounds from the crystal bowls can help return us to perfect health by removing negativity. Free. bliss Spiritual Co-op 1163 Pleasant Oaks Drive Mt. Pleasant. 843 345-5936.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 World Peace Meditation – 7-8pm. Join in an international monthly intentional meditation practice for peace. $20. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston. Register:

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 Cupping at the Cabin – 9:30-10:45am. A facial cupping sequence demonstration along with a talk on the history and applications of the modality with practitioner Brian Hoke. Harold’s Cabin, 247 Congress Street, Charleston. $10 admission includes a $10 discount to book a session. Thai Time! Thursdays on the Roof – 5:30-7:30pm. Thai yoga massage spot treatment workshop where participants are educated on Thai medical theory, history, and applications while assisted with any discomfort they are experiencing. Comfortable clothing appropriate for exercise recommended. $20/15min. Harold’s Cabin, 247 Congress Street, Charleston. The Embodied Leadership and Facilitation Training – 10am to 10pm through Friday, 9/16. Training to empower you to lead with an integrated and embodied sense of presence, connection, agility, and vulnerability. $350. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston. Registration: Amy@

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 Art Therapy – 11am. With Michelle Hamel, Intuitive Artist and Energy Healer. Experience art therapy as you express what’s in your heart. Release your discomfort. Raise your vibration. Splatter, spray and slap paint onto a canvas, garment or a new friend. Let go of your frustrations through color and art. $40 materials included. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-696-4016. Lost in Play – 6pm. With Michelle Hamel, Intuitive Artist and Energy Healer. When was the last time you made something just for YOU? Find your playful self again. Tie-dye – Finger/Body paint. $25 materials included. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-696-4016. Dude, It’s a Labyrinth – 6:30pm. With Holly Bendz. Want a positive way to handle unwanted stress and frustration that comes your way? Learn how to design a labyrinth on tile or fabric to take with you to release, re-connect and re-energize whenever you want. $25, materials included. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-425-9181. Contemplative Retreat & T’ai Chi Chih – 7pm1 pm Sunday, 9/18. Centering Prayer an T’ai Chi Chih movement in 80 acres of natural beauty. No experience necessary. $275 fee includes lodging & meals. Springbank Retreat for Eco-Spirituality & the Arts, 1345 Springbank Rd., Kingstree. 843382-9777.,

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 Dude, It’s a Labyrinth – 10 am. With Holly Bendz. Want a positive way to handle unwanted stress & frustration that comes your way? Learn how to design a labyrinth on tile or fabric to take with you to release, re-connect and re-energize whenever you want. $25 materials included. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-425-9181. Managing Technology Wellness Workshop – 10:30am-noon. With Tina Arnoldi, MA, LPC, EAS-C. Constant multi-tasking leaves us drained & can lead to cognitive damage. Develop tools to take back control of your digital life. Free. bliss Spiritual Co-op 1163 Pleasant Oaks Drive Mt. Pleasant. 843732-2280. Lost in Play – 1pm. With Michelle Hamel, Intuitive Artist and Energy Healer. When was the last time you made something just for YOU? Find your playful self again. Tie-dye – Finger/Body paint. $25 materials included. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-696-4016. Leave It On the Labyrinth – 3:30pm. Create a temporary labyrinth to release fears and stress, help you speak your truth and strengthen your spiritual connection. Spend time with a specially activated crystal as you receive insight into next steps. $25 includes crystal. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-425-9181. The Art of Ayurvedic Self-Massage & Daily Routines for Self-Care – 4-6pm. NAMA-certified Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor Jennifer Byrne, MPH and Abigail McClam, Ayurvedic Massage Therapist will teach daily Ayurvedic self-care routines and how to integrate them into our busy lives. $30. Registration Required. Harold’s Cabin, 247 Congress Street, Charleston. 843-724-9807. Jennifer@

Circling Immersion – 10am-7pm through Sunday 9/18. An interpersonal relational meditation and communication workshop that brings a deeper acceptance and awareness in connection with each other in a supportive container so you feel safe to be yourself. $350. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston.

Sunday, september 18 Open the Door to Labyrinth Play – 10am11:30am. With Holly Bendz, The Heart-Centered Labyrinth Co. Bring your children ages five+ for a labyrinth walk that incorporates intuitive music, dance and FUN! This is a celebration of family introducing your children to the labyrinth in a way that speaks to them, and you. $10 per family. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-425-9181. Lost in Play – 1pm. With Michelle Hamel, Intuitive Artist and Energy Healer. When was the last time you made something just for YOU? Find your playful self again. Tie-dye – Finger/ Body paint. $25 materials included. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-696-4016. Color Therapy – 4pm. With Michelle Hamel, Intuitive Artist and Energy Healer. Colors have vibrations that affect you mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Use color therapy to create a harmonious mind-body-spirit connection. Change your color, change your mood, change your vibration. Change your life! $20. Private residence near Folly Beach. 843-696-4016 Designing Interiors: Mind, Body, Spirit, & Spaces – 9-10am. Participants will learn about energetic influences on the body, mind, relationships and spaces. Topics include energy healing, law of attraction, gratitude, spiritual coaching, meditation, feng shui and intuitive guidance. $5. Harold’s Cabin, 247 Congress Street, Charleston. Rhonda@

Tuesday, September 20 Environmental Effects On Your Health – 6-8 pm. With Shannon Hall, Architect. Buildings and communities can either be powerful promoters of health, or they can contribute to key public health concerns including asthma, cancer and obesity. Learn a holistic approach in the built environment. Free. Charmed, 217 Lucas Street, Mt Pleasant. RSVP:

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 Crystals, Gems and Minerals – 7-9pm. Learn about specific crystals, the origin, the history, how and why you can use them to help facilitate many modalities and spiritual practices. You may also purchase any crystals that vibrate to your frequency. $40. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston.

Saturday, September 24 Fall Equinox Workshop – 1-4pm. With Jennifer Michaels - Visionary, Healer, Coach, Artist, Author & Speaker. Start the season off with a fresh perspective! Let go of the past and move forward with clarity! Snacks provided. Mt. Pleasant. $149. Early Bird by Sept. 5 / $99. Limited Space. RSVP. 843-514-2848, call or text. See listing, page 40

Holy Fire Reiki I Level class – 10am-5pm. With Usui Reiki Practitioner/Master Teacher Rhonda Lanier. Usui Level I attunement opens the student to channeling Reiki energy to self and others. Learn principles and history of Reiki and self-healing techniques. Reiki I manual included. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 Unity of Charleston Interfaith Sunday – 9:30 & 11am. With Dr. James Freston. The Mormon faith. 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843-566- 0600. Holy Fire Reiki Level II class – 10am-5pm. Explore the symbols of healing and how to use them to help heal on a deeper emotional level and facilitate distant healing that transcends time and space. Learn Level II symbols and how they work for selftreatment and treatments on others. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston. Truth Talk: The Art of Happiness – 1-2:30pm. Presented by Heather Lyn Mann, a Buddhist student of Thich Nhat Hanh. Learn through story and direct guided experience to cultivate happiness. Love offering. Unity of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Ave. Charleston.


Abdy Electriciteh Returns to Charleston - Two Events Connection to the Source Sessions Wed, Sept. 28th Session One - 7-8:15 pm. Session Two - 8:30-9:45 pm. Gage Hall 4 Archdale Street Charleston, SC 29401 Abdy has an ancient, indescribable gift which allows people to attune to the vibration they need to receive for themselves. The result is to be harmonized with one’s own soul. When the mind is harmonized with the soul, it is aligned in its own path and aligned in universal harmony. Every level of harmony is interrelated and the harmony within unfolds the universe, now and forever. “There is no name for what you receive.”Abdy In a session, people connect to the parts of their lives that have impacted their soul. This re-harmonizes a person’s energy bodies, resulting in a quickening of the transformation of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies.

Making Sense of Myself: Three Keys Workshop – 10 am-4:30pm through Thursday, 9/29. The 3 Keys model provides a personality map of the whole self, offering direction and a tool for the journey home to the land of your soul. $400 fee includes lodging & meals. Springbank Retreat for Eco-Spirituality & the Arts, 1345 Springbank Rd., Kingstree. 843382-9777.,

The energy that pours into people present during a session pours into the meridians of Earth reaching all of humanity and bringing the vibration of Earth and humanity to a higher resonance.


Please bring a yoga mat or a blanket and a pillow, and dress comfortably to lie on the floor.

Intro to Feng Shui with Rhonda Lanier – 7-8pm. Balance the Chi in your life, your home and your environment. Learn the fundamental concepts and how to practice these rituals in your own life. $25. Lotus Healing Centre, 232A Ashley Avenue, Charleston.

Exchange: $50 for each session payable at the door by cash or check.

Contact: Abdy - Charleston @ 843-327-1440 or to register or for questions.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 12-Step Women’s Retreat – 10am, through Sunday 10/2. Exploration of Native Spirituality including sage blessings, prayer lodge, drumming, & sacred pipe. $195 fee includes lodging & meals. Springbank Retreat for Eco-Spirituality & the Arts, 1345 Springbank Rd., Kingstree. 843-382-9777, Springbank@,

plan ahead WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5 Spa for the Soul – 10am through 4pm Friday, Oct. 7. Healing touch, massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture, herbology and nutritional wellness. Non-directed expressions in art. $375. Springbank Retreat for Eco-Spirituality and the Arts, 1345 Springbank Rd., KNingstree. 843-382-9777.,

natural awakenings

September 2016


MONDAY, OCTOBER 10 Awakening the Spirit Within: Learning to Play the Native Flute – 7pm-4 pm. Wednesday, 10/12. Let your soul speak to you through flute-playing. $225 fee includes lodging & meals. Springbank Retreat for Eco-Spirituality & the Arts, 1345 Springbank Rd., Kingstree. 843-382-9777. Springbank@,

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 Drum-Making – 7pm- 4pm. Sunday, 10/16. Creating and shaping a handheld drum in the Native tradition. Blessing & awakening of the drum. $250 fee includes meals & lodging. Additional $100 materials fee. Springbank Retreat for Eco-Spirituality & the Arts, 1345 Springbank Rd., Kingstree, SC 29556. 843-382-9777. Springbank@SpringbankRetreat. org, Yoga of Sound & Deeper Dimensions of Yoga – 7 pm. Join Russill Paul for ecstatic music combined with mantra, movement and meditation for chakra healing. $40. ($25 or 2 for $40 before Sept 15th). Unity of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Avenue Charleston.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15 Russill Paul presents Love Mysticism with the Yoga of Sound – 10:30am-5:30 pm. Explore deep mysticism through sacred movement, chanting and meditation. $150.00 ($125 before 09/15). Unity of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Avenue Charleston. yogaofsoundsc@ Mantra Magic - Kirtan with Russill Paul – 7:30 pm. Ecstatic music combined with mantra, movement and meditation. No prior yoga or musical experience required. $30 ($25 or 2 for $40 before 09/15). Unity of Charleston 2535 Leeds Avenue Charleston.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16 Manifesting Abundance with the Yoga of Sound – 2pm. With Russill Paul. Combine powerful mantras with affirmations to create more abundance, joy and bliss. No prior yoga experience is necessary. $50 ($40 before 9/15). Unity of Charleston/2535 Leeds Avenue, Charleston.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 Oyster Roast – 2-5pm. Unity of Charleston Fund Raiser. Enjoy oysters, hot dogs, tofu dogs, hamburgers, salads, baked goods, and much more for purchase. Music. 2535 Leeds Ave. Charleston 29405, 843-566-0600.

Healing Beyond Borders Level 1 Class

ongoing events sunday Zen Meditation Group – 8:15am. Three half-hour rounds of sitting along with walking meditation. Email to find out the best time for you to arrive. Free. Holy Cow Yoga, 10 Windermere Blvd, West Ashley. or Unity of Charleston Services – 9:30 & 11:15am. Are you more spiritual than religious? So are we! Do you believe in many paths to God? Then join us. Unity Church of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Ave. 843-566-0600. New Spirit Books & Gifts – 10:30am-1pm. Spiritual, metaphysical and inspirational books, crystals, incense, tarot/oracle cards. Unity Church of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Ave. 843-566-0600.

monday Slow Flow and Meditation – 9am. With Teresa Bulford. The perfect opportunity to take your time moving through a beautifully sequenced flow infused with mindfulness and meditation practices. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843-810-5953. Charleston Community Acupuncture – 10am-1pm & 3-5:30pm (new extended hours). 1307 Savannah Hwy, Charleston. 843-763-7200. Complimentary Natural Female Hormone Balancing Consultations – 10am-4pm. With Dr Stephanie Zgraggen. Lime and Lotus, 925-F Wappoo Rd, West Ashley. Call to schedule: 843-214-2997. Senior Yoga – 2:30 pm. With Joe Vinciguerra. Offering a variety of approaches to meet the needs of all seniors. These classes incorporate gentle yoga poses, gradual stretching and correct breathing. Chairs incorporated to support your yoga practice. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843-810-5953.

Sat., Nov. 12 • 8:30-6:30pm. Sun., Nov. 13 • 9am-6pm. CE’s 18

Uses gentles heart-centered touch to balance physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Works in harmony with standard medical care. Enhances body’s natural ability to heal. Early bird discount: $245.00 by 10-29-16, thereafter $295.00. Fee includes workbook. Info/registration call Janet 843-388-1834. Location: Roper Hospital, Charleston SC


NA Lowcountry Edition

tuesday Yoga for EveryBody – 9:30am. With Sam Meehan. This gentle traditional meditative approach to yoga is guaranteed to reduce stress while increasing your strength, flexibility and stamina. Each class iIncludes postures, breathing techniques, deep relaxation and meditation. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843810-5953. Your Power Hour – 5:30pm. A progressive class that offers challenging aspects for everyone. With an emphasis on core strength, this class combines traditional yoga postures with strong, energetic movement. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843-810-5953. Hara Flow Yoga – 7pm. With Joe Vinciguerra. A fully awakening practice of breath and movement. Students will learn to flow through various yoga poses with emphasis on breath work and proper alignment. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843-810-5953. The Reiki Connection – 7pm. With Chrys Franks, Reiki Master/Teacher. Guided meditation followed by mini reiki sessions by certified practitioners. Love offering. (1st Tues for practitioners only). Unity Church, 2535 Leeds Ave, N Charleston. 843-364-5725. Creative Writing – 7pm-8:30 pm Explore writing poetry, memoir, creative non-fiction, essay and short story using prompts and engaging invention activities. Journal/pen sets available. Facilitator: Lisa Hase -Jackson, MFA, Writing Coach, Poet, Poetry Teacher CofC. Free. bliss Spiritual Co-op 1163 Oaks Drive Mt. Pleasant.

wednesday Complimentary Natural Female Hormone Balancing Consultations – 10am-4pm. With Dr Stephanie Zgraggen. Lime and Lotus, 925-F Wappoo Rd, West Ashley. Call to schedule: 843-214-2997. Yoga for All – 11am. With Marlene Glaser. Connect breath awareness, mindfulness and fluid movement as you practice both gentle and active yoga asanas. Allow yoga to help foster relaxation, balance and healthier body and mind. $15 per class or $85 monthly unlimited pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843-810-5953. Meditation Class – 6:30-7:30pm. With Jennifer Michaels - Visionary, Healer, Coach, Artist, Author & Speaker. Heart-centered, guided & silent meditation. Beginners and advanced. $15/Class; Shepard Integrative Dermatology, 912 Old Georgetown Rd., Mt. Pleasant. (843) 514-2848 See listing, page 40.

thursday Senior Yoga – 2:30pm. With Joe Vinciguerra. Offered in a variety of approaches to meet the needs of all seniors. These classes incorporate gentle yoga poses, gradual stretching and correct breathing. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843-810-5953. HealingHara@ Slow Flow and Meditation – 6pm. With Marlene Glaser. This class interweaves learning true insight meditation and pranayama (breathing) techniques as well as conscious, flowing asanas that help build strength and stability. Leave class feeling grounded, relaxed and rejuvenated. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843810-5953. Introduction to Meditation – 7-8:15pm. Open to public. Learn different types of meditation and how to apply them in daily life. $10 or $5/students/ seniors. Unity Church of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Ave. Restorative Yoga – 7:15-8:15pm. Hold relaxing poses 5-10 minutes in a candle lit room with meditative music, blocks, straps, blankets & the wall to mindfully stretch. Facilitator: Jeannine Despeaux, 200 RYT. Free. bliss Spiritual Co-op 1163 Oaks Drive Mt. Pleasant. 843 822-4557. Jeannine@

friday Yin Yang Yoga – 9am. With Marlene Glaser. Increase your flexibility with yin yoga as well as the yang aspects of the practice that focus on increasing core strength and joint stability. Slow and deep exploration of mind and body. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass. Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843-810-5953. Transmission Meditation – 6:30pm Very powerful work. Beneficial for humanity and self. Healing Oasis, 772 St Andrews, West Ashely. 843-743-5222. or

saturday Gentle Yoga – 10am. Providing the opportunity to relax and renew the body with restful yoga postures. Practicing gentle yoga can teach you to relax, rest deeply and completely. $15 per class or $85 unlimited monthly pass Healing Hara Massage & Wellness Center, 209 Stallsville Loop Rd, Summerville. 843810-5953. Simply Meditate – 10:30am-noon. 2nd Sat. Drop-in classes with guided meditations, suitable for beginners and experienced alike. Circular Church, 150 Meeting St, Charleston (classroom below Lance Hall). $10 or $5/students/seniors.

Yoga is an art and science of living. ~Indra Devi

Kids Yoga Class – Noon-1pm. Utilizing yoga poses creatively tucked into activities, music, stories and more for ages 4-11. $8/child, $4/sibling. Simultaneous adult class also offered at 11am GC Yoga, 105 Laurel Ave, Goose Creek 843-303-2014.

natural awakenings

September 2016


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Voted best acupuncturist three years running. We treat most ailments including; stress, pain management, autoimmune issues, infertility, migraines, fatigue, allergies, diabetes and much more. Sliding scale payment option $20-$40 (return visits).

COLBY M. CHRISTY, LAc Five Element Acupuncture 125 Spring St, Charleston 843-442-4566

Colby Christy, Master Acupuncturist, offers 20 years’ experience integrating traditional acupuncture, plant medicine and education to help individuals improve their wholehearted health.


1731 N Main St, Ste H Summerville (Sangaree Center behind Old South Diner) 843-810-1225 Bring us your headaches, back pain, tennis elbow, indigestion or whatever else is bothering you. Affordable acupuncture between $15-$45 plus a $10 paperwork fee for new patients. $5 PTSD treatments for veterans. Appointments or walk-ins welcome.


772 St Andrews Blvd, Charleston 843-743-5222 Visit Healing Oasis and experience powerful healing vibrations. Services: Advanced CranioSacral Therapy, with more than a decade of experience; Energy Healing; Chakra Balancing; Aura Photography; SoulCollage Workshops; Ionic Detox Foot Bath; Far-Infrared Sauna. See ad, page 7.


Susan Popiel, RN, CST 1037-D Chuck Dawley Blvd, Ste 206, Mt Pleasant 843-834-4168 • With a background in nursing, Popiel offers treatments that naturally support your greater health and wellbeing. Acupressure (no needles utilized), CranioSacral Therapy, Zero Balancing, surgery preparation.


Healing Arts Center 925 Wappoo Rd, Ste F, Charleston 843-214-2997 • Services: Clinical Nutrition, Chiropractic, Massage Therapy, Holistic Mental Health, Natural Female Hormone Balancing, Detoxification. Individual sessions and group workshops available for mind, body and spirit.

DR. PATRICK S. LOVEGROVE Merge Medical Center Mt Pleasant • 843-469-1001

AMA board-certified medical doctor specializing in alternative/ integrative medicine, holistic nutrition, weight loss, fatigue and pain management. Services include acupuncture, bioidentical hormones, anti-aging, nutra-ceuticals, detoxification, Chinese/ayurvedic medicine, naturopathy, reiki, and blood/saliva/urine/hair/stool Functional Medicine lab analysis for treatment of chronic disease.

beauty consultant YOUR GROOMING GURU 1319 Savannah Hwy, Ste C Charleston (in Artisans Inc Salon) 843-813-1838


Pam Olivier 3226 2B Maybank Hwy, Johns Island 843-708-8923 • A unique massage formulated specifically to meet your needs. Several different massage modalities are used, including sports, neuromuscular, trigger point, lomi lomi, Thai yoga massage and manual lymph drainage. Conditions addressed include migraines, sciatica, whiplash, stress, anxiety and good old tight shoulders.


990 Lake Hunter Cir, Ste 212, Mt Pleasant 844-BRAIN-ON (272-4666) Specializing in brain training, an effective, drug-free treatment for ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, insomnia, migraines, memory, improving performance and more. No side effects. Permanent changes.


Your Grooming Guru, Barbara BrantWilliams, is an experienced hairstylist, makeup artist and certified Organic Color Specialist practicing out of the Artisans Salon. Charleston’s go-to source for hair, makeup and beauty product knowledge.

bodywork LOTUS HOLISTIC MASSAGE Abigail McClam, BA, LMBT 232A Ashley Ave, Charleston 843-724-9807

COLUCCI CHIROPRACTIC AND WELLNESS CENTER Dr. Gina Colucci 1806 Trolley Rd, Summerville 843-875-5700

Serving the Summerville area for 29 years. Specializing in holistic care; weight loss and nutritional cleansing; pain management; bioidentical hormones; sugar detox; stress testing; chiropractic; peripheral neuropathy; detox footbaths; emotional (TBM/NET) and wellness care.


Licensed holistic massage and integrative bodywork practitioner offering massage, aromatherapy, energy healing and breathing techniques to help individuals nurture health, restore balance, manage pain, trauma and injury as they learn to embrace their own body/mind wisdom.

Unity Church of Charleston Rev. Ed Kosak, Minister 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston 843-566-0600 •

Sunday Services: 9:30 and 11:15am. Are you more spiritual than religious? Do you believe in many paths to God? Then please join us.

natural awakenings

September 2016




Grass Roots Health Care Since 1991 843-769-6848 •

Please call for appointment: Mt Pleasant • 843-881-1418 Myrtle Beach • 843-293-6700

Holistic, preventive dentistry. Safe removal of mercury fillings since 1975, following IAOMT protocol. Offering anti-aging dentistry and biocompatible materials. See ad, page 26.

Therapeutic Massage, Colon Hydrotherapy, Detox Foot Baths. Healthy Food Choice Coaching, NBCTH-certified and I-ACT members. Offering people a vehicle to help improve their quality of life. Specializing in probiotic education.


eco cleaning ABOVE & BEYOND CLEANING LLC Kimberly Henderson • 843-901-4779

Healthy living starts with an ecoclean home or office. Health and wholeness are our top priorities by providing our clients with a “green” clean by using natural and botanical cleaning products.

A series of informal talks about the knowledge and methods of special schools dedicated to the development of consciousness, as taught by G e o rg e G u r d j i e ff a n d P e t e r Ouspensky.




Dr. Hayan Lee & Dr. Young Kim 320 Midland Pkwy, Ste A, Summerville 843-486-2022 • Stop being a cavity victim. Dental health is more than just brushing and flossing two times a day. See the dental revolution of a compassionate, holistic office. Call and ask for current promotion.

HEALING THERAPY EN ESPAÑOL Rocío Delgadillo, MD Terapeuta Arcangelica/Coach de vidas Charleston • 843-367-5618

Experimenta la presencia de los ángeles en tu vida a través de sus mensajes de amor y su luz sanadora. Terapia Arcangelica-Geometría Sagrada-Cristaloterapia. Reprogramación de ADN.

I SMILE MATHIS FERRY DENTISTRY Wendy S. Haefner, DDS 1571 Mathis Ferry Rd, Mt Pleasant 843-884-1215 •

Biological dentistry using IAOMT protocol. Natural products free of BPA and mercury. Mercury-safe filling removal. Now offering ozone therapy! See ad, page 5.


924 Tall Pine Rd, Mt Pleasant 843-884-0701 • BPA and bis-GMA free dental fillings and BPA-free night guards. Mercury free, mercury safe. Accepting new patients and emergency appointments. Please call for consultation. See ad, page 29.

PALMER DISTINCTIVE DENTISTRY Drs. Joe Palmer and Daniel Knause 134 Milestone Way, Greenville, SC 864-501-5891 •


Visionary, Energy Healer & Soul Coach Artist, Author & Speaker Mt Pleasant • 843-514-2848 • Clean & clear energy with ChristCentered White-Light Energy Healing. Certified Master Healer; Life, Health & Creativity Coach; and Ordained Minister with 25+ years’ experience. Holy Land Oils & John of God crystals. Angel Therapy, Past-Life Regression, Soul Integration & more... Raise vibration & Co-Create Joy! Books, Fine Art, Soul & Dream Portraits also available. See workshops and weekly classes in the Event and Ongoing Calendar, pages 35-36.


Joyce Stech 125 S Main St, Summerville Summerville • 843-870-4462 •

Biological Dentistry using the highest standards of biocompatible dentistry as defined by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). One-visit crowns, laser-assisted periodontal therapy and ozone therapy; fluoride-free office. See ad, page 43.


NA Lowcountry Edition

Joyce Stech (maMJAH), founder of Royal Gems Matrix Healing System, Martial Artist (Kyoshi, 7th dan), author, Metaphysician, Spiritual CEO of Taoist-Yogi Christ Lineage International. Private sessions, classes, online programs.


Preventive and personalized health care with over 75 years of combined medical practice. Board-certified Environmental, Functional and Integrative Medicine. We get to the root cause of your illness. Allergy testing, autoimmune diseases, women’s health. See ads, pages 2 and 44.


1240-C Central Ave, Summerville 843-873-3953 Your doorway to total health. Serving Summerville for over 40 years. Natural and gluten-free products. Probiotics, organic oils, vitamins and supplements, essential oils and more.


Herbs and Health Foods 119 N Goose Creek Blvd, Ste K Goose Creek • 843-797-3200 Best selection of herbs in South Carolina. Organic teas, spices, supplements, essential oils, wheat-free and gluten-free products. 10am-7pm; Mon-Sat; closed Sunday.


Gerry Schmidt, PhD 843-588-9286 • Reverse aging in just eight minutes, two times a day with BEMER—reduces inflammation, pain, digestive issues, improves sleep and energy/vitality, plus more. Used by NASA and Olympic teams, in 42 countries for 15 years. Try it free.


Change your water, change your life! Thomas P Meletis, Distributor 843-729-7837 • Water is the single most important element that goes in our body. Drinking the right type of water may be the single most important piece in achieving and maintaining optimal health. Visit KangenDemo. com to see a comparison. View all eight machines at Financing at zero interest.


By appointment only 815 Savannah Hwy, W Ashley 843-324-6460 •

ALEKA THORVALSON, CPC, PCC Aloha Healing Arts Life Strategies Coaching & Hypnosis 843-870-7455 •

Achieve lasting transformation that awakens the whole self. Release blocks, gain clarity, purpose, inspiration and motivation. Individuals—Couples—Families. Professionally credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation.

Jennifer Iamele Savage, MED Certified Life Coach 508-942-0402

A trained Montessori educator and intuitive life coach, specializing in transitions and soul purpose coaching. Eliminate blocks, work through transitions, and discover your purpose. Courses on the use of essential oils for healing, journaling and vision boards to manifest your dreams.


Dreams Alive 843-830-3876 Specializing in helping women that are struggling with self-judgement, confusion and fear to embrace all parts of themselves with love. Learn to share your truth with confidence, own your unique talents and power, and passionately pursue a future you have only dared to dream. Free intro session.

nutrition YOUR NUTRITION ROOTS LLC Naomi May, MS, RDN, LD 843-608-0849

Personalized nutrition solutions by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist trained in integrative and functional nutrition. Encouraging your body’s natural healing abilities with step-bystep targeted nutritional therapy.



2671 Fort Trenholm Rd, Johns Island 843-266-3619 Relax and renew your mind, body and soul while enjoying our luxurious services. All treatments are tailored just for you using the finest all-natural products. See ad, page 25.

Connect with passed loved ones to experience healing, love and guidance. Individual or group readings available in-person or via Skype. Mediumship classes also available.

life coach

soul coach



Jody Lemmon 615 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Ste 101 Mt Pleasant 843-882-5015 •

Dr. Wendy M. Perrell, Certified Soul Coach and Shaman 907-317-2483 • Meetup: Charleston~Mastering Alignment with Your Soul’s Purpose

Your Soul speaks to me! I channel Archangel Raphael to help you heal fear, guilt, shame, unworthiness, and unlovable energy that holds you back from your Soul’s purpose. We provide spiritual tools and practices that enlighten and empower you to enjoy love, wealth, health, joy and balance. Mention this ad to receive $25 off first session.


J Salon is passionate about healthy hair and overall wellness of the human body. We strive to give the best customer service and build long lasting relationships with our clients. See ad, page 9.

Shanna Schulze 877-315-7226, ext 447

Radiation-free cancer and inflammation screening. Locations in South Florida, West Florida and South Carolina. Injury documentation, determine origination of pain, evaluate nerve pathology and monitor progress of current treatments.


732 S Shelmore Blvd, Ste 100 Mt Pleasant (Shelmore Village) 843-991-6835 Our experienced team of hairstylists and skin care specialist use 100 percent-certified organic products. We specialize in haircutting, coloring and make-up application. We sell All Nutrient™, Moroccan Oils, Dr. Hauschka™, 100% Pure™, iLike™ and many other boutique items.

Transformational Coach GERRY SCHMIDT, PhD

Master Coach Central location • 843-478-4090 Awaken to who you really are. Get unstuck, empowered, implement your vision. Never let fear decide your fate. Get results. Individuals, families, group sessions. Complimentary intro session. See ad, page 33.


Dr. Bettina Herbert, MD, has 25 years of osteopathic experience and is board certified in Physical Medicine. Treatment uses gentle manipulation primarily using cranial osteopathy to relieve pain, improve performance and promote healing. See ads, pages 2 and 44.

VITAMINS, SUPPLEMENTS & HERBS EUCALYPTUS WELLNESS CO. 280 W Coleman Blvd, Suite E Mt Pleasant • 843-388-4956

Offering an extensive line of allnatural products including vitamins, supplements, herbs, aromatherapy, body care and more. Visit our store and shop the wide selection of products and meet our dedicated, knowledgeable staff. Open Mon-Sat, 10am-7pm. Sundays, noon-5pm.

reiki BODHI TREE CHARLESTON Maureen Donohue, LMT #3231 792 Folly Rd, James Island 843-327-4761


Client-focused, heart-centered, therapeutic reiki and massage. Maureen Donohue is a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher, massage therapist and Medical Reiki Master™. Teaching reiki classes throughout the Southeast, approved by NCBTMB as a CEU provider.

GC Yoga

105 Laurel Ave, Goose Creek 843-303-2014 • GC Yoga of Goose Creek offers group yoga classes for all levels in a positive and unintimidating environment. Feel strong, calm and get your stretch on.

natural awakenings

September 2016


Every Day Can Be A Day Without Pain!

Natural Awakenings Topical Pain Relief Plus


cute pain from an accident, burn or insect bite may cramp your style at the family picnic, but the kind of pain that recurs every day and every night can make us miss out on the best times of our lives. Lost opportunities like playing with our children and grandchildren, participating in sports and other healthy activities like dancing do not give you a second chance for fun. Natural Awakenings Topical Pain Relief Plus relieves pain, strains and sprains while substantially reducing recovery time.

include certified, refined emu oil, whole leaf aloe vera, MSM glucosamine and chondroitin, in a proprietary blend of essential oils, Oriental herbs, botanical extracts and complex vitamins/ antioxidants. MSM acts as an analgesic and antiinflammator y agent, inhibits muscle spasm and increases blood flow while aloe vera, the only known vegetable source of vitamin B12, Emu oil allows the other ingredients to immediately begin to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling.

Unique Ingredients are How it Works Natural Awakenings Topical Pain Relief Plus works by penetrating deep into skin and muscle tissue. Key ingredients

{ The Spray That Saved Me!}

I have been using this spray for years now to help my osteoarthritis pain and it really works. I had tried everything else on the market and this is the only product that gives me relief. I have recommended it to many of my friends. ~ Patricia Enjoy safe and effective relief from:

• Arthritis Pain • Stiff Joints • Cramps • Headaches • Knee, Neck & Back Pain • Inflammation & Swelling • Tired, Sore Muscles

Its natural ingredients include:

Back Money ighted! el if not D

• Certified Emu Oil • Aloe Vera • Herbs • Glucosamine & Condroitin • Vitamins/Antioxidants • Botanical Extracts • MSM Topical Pain Relief also helps to stimulate energy, detoxify and promote a healthier quality of life.

4-oz spray $24.99 $19.99 – 8-oz spray $39.99 $34.99 plus $5 shipping • FREE Shipping on orders $75 & over Order online today at or call: 888-822-0246

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Emu oil, an allnatural food byproduct that contains high levels of linoleic acid, known to relieve arthritic pain, is obtained from the fat of the flightless emu bird, and a series of processes refine, sterilize and deodorize it. But not all emu oil sold is of the quality used in Natural Awakenings Topical Pain Relief Plus; some is simply rendered, using added ingredients that pollute the natural oil. As an added benefit, emu oil increases skin layer thickness by up to 56 percent, decreasing wrinkles and age spots.

Follow the Directions For optimum relief, apply a generous amount of Natural Awakenings Topical Pain Relief Plus directly onto the area of pain or discomfort, allowing it to be absorbed for two to three minutes. Don’t wipe away any that is not absorbed; massage it into the surrounding areas, and use it as often as needed— there are no side effects! Using Natural Awakenings Topical Pain Relief Plus three times daily is ideal—depending on your level of pain—when you wake up, at mid-day or after work and just before bedtime. Regular use will continue to alleviate pain and help keep it from returning as often or as intensely.

Natural Awakenings Lowcountry September 2016 issue  
Natural Awakenings Lowcountry September 2016 issue