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Holiday Renewals

Refreshing Traditions

Vegan Holiday Treats Tasty and Healthy Sweets

The Evolution of Community Gathering to Make a Difference

December 2019 | Lowcountry Edition |

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December 2019


letter from publisher



   went into Target on Halloween night and they literally

had already cleared the shelves of Halloween candy to make room for all the Christmas stuff—not Thanksgiving stuff, mind you—Christmas stuff! It seems that Christmas starts earlier every year. Some people love the season so much that it can’t start early enough for them. I personally love Thanksgiving and like to focus on it before jumping straight to Christmas. This is not up to me though, and since complaining and a bad attitude will not help anyone, especially me, I have decided to embrace the season and focus on its meaning, beauty and fun. This month’s issue is full of tips to help us do that.


SENIOR Editor Martin Miron Design & Production T.W.S. graphics

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In the spirit of the season, we turn our attention to metaphysical matters, most notably Linda Sechrist’s uplifting feature, “The Emerging Power of ‘We’: Awakening to the Evolution of Community.” Here you’ll find a compelling argument that collective wisdom, collaborative change and the need to evolve from a culture of “me” to a culture of “we” may be the key to addressing the major challenges that confront humankind. This month’s Wise Words department also takes us on a spiritual journey with the story of Mary Neal, an orthopedic surgeon and author of 7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life, who shares her account of a near-death experience in which she believes she penetrated the veil dividing the physical and spiritual worlds. Her life-altering experience prompted her to pay more attention to those things that are truly important: faith, family and relationships with others. In addition to feeding the soul, we focus on nourishing ourselves with Earth-friendly holiday practices from updating family traditions to serving healthier, but still delicious Christmas cookies. Make sure to go to for more recipes and tips to make the most of the season. As always, we explore the pursuit of healthy living with articles that include the many benefits of breathwork in “Inhaling the Joy of Life: Conscious Breathwork,” the immuneboosting benefits of elderberries, and more. Wishing you a healthy and joyful holiday season!

PO Box 1001 Isle of Palms, SC 29451 Ph: 843-821-7404

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As you grow older, your Christmas list gets smaller; the things you really want for the holidays can’t be bought.

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Natural Awakenings is a family of more than 70 healthy living magazines celebrating 25 years of providing the communities we serve with the tools and resources we all need to lead healthier lives on a healthy planet.




Awakening to the Evolution of Community

14 SURGEON MARY NEAL On Lessons From Heaven


People-Pleasing Holiday Sweets




Conscious Breathwork

21 REFRESH HOLIDAY TRADITIONS Making the Old New and Green



advertising & submissions how to advertise To advertise with Natural Awakenings or request a media kit, please contact us at 843-821-7404 or email Deadline for ads: the 10th of the month. Editorial submissions Email articles, news items and ideas to: Deadline for editorial: the 5th of the month. calendar submissions Submit Calendar & Ongoing Events to: Deadline: the 10th of the month. regional markets Advertise your products or services in multiple markets! Natural Awakenings Publishing Corp. is a growing franchised family of locally owned magazines serving communities since 1994. To place your ad in other markets call 239-434-9392. For franchising opportunities call 239-530-1377 or visit


DEPARTMENTS 6 news briefs 7 local health brief 8 health briefs 10 global briefs 11 eco tip 14 wise words 16 conscious eating 19 fit body 21 healthy kids 25 calendar 26 classifieds 27 resource guide December 2019


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news briefs

Reindeer Run for Charity


he Reindeer Run, presented by Half-Moon Outfitters, is a family-oriented, pet-friendly 5k run/walk through the lower peninsula of downtown Charleston starting at 9 a.m., December 7, near the corner of East Bay and Queen Street. There will be an after party in the official beer garden. The crowd-favorite costume contest begins around 10 a.m. behind the stage. Categories include adult individual, child individual, group and dog, with great prizes and gift cards from restaurants and attractions. The event has grown from a few hundred participants to record attendance of more than 3,500 runners. The Charitable Society of Charleston (CSC) has donated more that $1,000,000 to MUSC Children’s Hospital, including $50,000 in 2017 alone. Proceeds from the Reindeer Run are split between the campaign for the MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and the Charitable Society of Charleston. The new MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital, scheduled to open Dec. 14, will provide more spacious, family-centered amenities and expanded services, including an expanded neonatal intensive care unit, an entire floor dedicated to the care of children with cancer and the most comprehensive pediatric heart center in South Carolina. Learn more at

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oga Factory by Yoloha will hold their second annual Mindful Market from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., December 11, preceded by a free yoga class in the studio from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be artisan makers for holiday shopping with the local community, as well as delicious food and natural wines. There will also be a kid’s holiday movie and a bonfire with s’mores and hot chocolate for the whole family. Location: 1738 Signal Point Rd., Charleston. For tickets, visit MindfulMarketTickets.

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January is Interfaith Harmony Month


he governor of South Carolina has proclaimed January to be Interfaith Harmony Month in conjunction with Interfaith Partners of SC. To spread the good news this year, proclamations will be read on December 30 at 11 a.m. in the Charleston City Council Chambers, 80 Broad Street, hosted by The Charleston Interreligious Council. Children from 10 different traditions including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Greek Orthodox, Islam, Judaism and more will each read a line. Music will be provided by Heather Rice. Mayor Tecklenberg will emcee and perhaps sing a song. Interfaith events in 2020 include Sacred Spaces Tour at Second Presbyterian and St. Matthew Lutheran Churches on January 12; Interfaith Panel at The Villages in Summerville on January 19; Food and Faith on January 17; and Holy City History, commemorating and kicking off Charleston’s 350th anniversary, on January 23. More events will be announced. For more information, call event chair Ed Kosak at 843-566-0600 or email UnityCharleston@


NA Lowcountry Edition

local health brief

Elderberries for Seasonal Discomfort Holiday gatherings are centered around visiting with loved ones, but that also brings hidden hazards in the height of cold and flu season. Coughing, runny noses, fever, body aches and pains, congestion, sinus pressure and other symptoms can strike as influenza peaks between December and February. Elderberries are known for boosting the immune system, as well as anthocyanidins, which are known to have immunostimulant, pharmacologic and anti-carcinogenic properties. Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, says, “Elderberries carry many health benefits, including major cold and flu relief, sinus infection aid, lowers blood sugar, natural diuretic, natural laxative, encourages healthy skin, eases allergies, may prevent cancer and improve heart health.” Several studies confirm that the flavonoids in elderberries bind to the H1N1 human influenza virus, inhibiting it from reproducing. Scientists found that the H1N1 inhibition activities of the elderberry flavonoids are similar to the known anti-influenza activities of Tamiflu. The Journal of International Medical Research published a study that showed when elderberry was used within the first 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, it shortened the symptoms by an average of four days. The government employed elderberry to ward off the flu during the 1995 Panama flu epidemic. Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician known as the “father of medicine” referred to elderberries as his “medicine chest” because they proved useful for so many health ailments. Elderberry syrup is a natural alternative made with a powerhouse of ingredients from Mother Nature that naturally boosts the immune system. Due to elderberries’ naturally bitter taste, this syrup is a more popular and pleasant way to consume elderberries. The basic ingredients in most elderberry syrups are dried elderberries, a sweetener source and a mix of herbs. Considerations when selecting an elderberry syrup include where the product is produced, such as in a home kitchen or commercial facility, and by whom; what consumer safety practices are used during the production and bottling of the product; ingredients and their quality; and whether the product is lab tested by a third party.

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Maintain a Healthy Diet and Weight to Lower Cataract Risk A recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition used adherence to dietary guidelines and total diet scores to assess the effects of diet on cataract risk. The researchers followed 2,173 older Australians for five and 10 years in two phases. They found that maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI) of less than 25, combined with a healthy diet, reduced the risk of developing cataracts.

Eat a Better Diet to Improve Gut Bacteria Researchers at the University of Hawaii Cancer Center tested stool samples of 858 men and 877 women in Los Angeles and Hawaii with a mean age of 69—regarded as an ethnically diverse study population with varied food intakes. The study found that those with higher quality diets also had significantly better gut bacteria diversity, a factor linked to reduced risk for a variety of diseases. Diet quality and a reduced risk of developing chronic disease is strongly associated with fecal microbial diversity. 8

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New research offers potential paths for treatment for the nearly 20 percent of patients with high blood pressure that don’t respond well to medications. University of Florida College of Medicine researchers, testing 105 volunteers, found that the populations of gut bacteria differed between hypertensive individuals with depression and those without depression. A second study by Italian researchers found that patients with heart attacks had different bacteria in their guts than patients with stable angina.

Hong Vo/

Researchers followed more than 36,000 Japanese men older than 40 for an average of 13.2 years. They found that those that consumed culinary mushrooms three times a week had a 17 percent lower chance of developing prostate cancer compared to those that ate mushrooms less than once a week. Participants that ate mushrooms once or twice a week had an 8 percent lower risk. The trend was even greater for those men over the age of 50 and was unrelated to other dietary habits.

SK Design/

Eat Mushrooms to Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Reduce Blood Pressure and Heart Attacks With Better Gut Bacteria

Train Students in Mindfulness to Reduce Stress and Improve Grades Sixth-graders that received mindfulness training each day for eight weeks experienced lower stress levels, less depression and improved academic performance compared to their peers in a control group that studied computer coding, report Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers. In addition to that 100-student study, researchers surveyed 2,000 students in grades five through eight and found those that showed more mindfulness tended to have better grades and test scores. They also had fewer absences and suspensions.

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health briefs

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Nature Cure

global briefs

Making Meat Without Animals

Five major food technology companies have converged to form the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood (AMPS) Innovation, which seeks to create real meat from animal cells without the need to slaughter animals. The founding members of the coalition are both cell-based seafood companies BlueNalu and Finless Foods and meat makers Fork & Goode, San Francisco-based JUST Inc., and Memphis Meats. AMPS Innovation ( intends to tackle obstacles presented in the cellular agriculture industry and bring products to the consumer faster with transparency and proper regulatory frameworks for cell-based products. Each member company has made significant strides in the development of these products with the hope they will soon be options in the everyday diets of individuals, as well as a nutrition source for a human population projected to grow to 10 billion by 2050.

A new study based on the National Land Cover Database of 3,086 of the 3,103 counties in the continental U.S. published in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening found that increases in forest and shrub cover corresponded to decreases in Medicare health care spending, even when accounting for economic, geographic or other factors that might independently influence healthcare costs. Urban and rural counties with the lowest socioeconomic status appeared to benefit the most from increases in forests and shrubs. University of Illinois graduate student Douglas A. Becker, who led the new research with Matt Browning, a professor of recreation, sports and tourism, says, “It occurred to me that low-income communities are getting the biggest bang for their buck because they probably have the most to gain.” Other studies have shown that people in intensive care units recover more quickly and have fewer complications after surgery if their hospital rooms look out over trees rather than parking lots and that forest walks can influence potentially health-promoting hormone levels or anti-cancer immune cells in the blood.

BK foto/

Lab Steak

Brent Hofacker/

Forests and Shrubs Lower Medical Costs

Charge It

The RS Automotive gas station, in Takoma Park, Maryland, has been around since 1958, and Depeswar Doley has been running it for 22 years. Now, frustrated by the complicated rules, requirements


NA Lowcountry Edition

and contracts of oil and gas companies, he has completely transitioned away from offering petroleum and become the country’s first exclusively electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Because there has been a shortage of EV charging stations in the state, the station’s changeover was partially funded by the Baltimore-based

Electric Vehicle Institute and the Maryland Energy Administration. Its new 200-kilowatt electrical system will now be able to recharge up to four vehicles at a time while drivers wait inside. Doley says, “It’s not something that I expect to become rich overnight or something like that, but it’s a good cause [and] good for the environment.”


Electric Vehicles Get Their Own ‘Gas’ Station

Sunny studio/

eco tip

Burn Notice

Safe and Sustainable Fireplace Practices One of the charms of winter is enjoying the warmth and glow of indoor fireplaces and wood stoves. It also emphasizes the need for sustainable, safe and healthy practices—especially when it comes to maintaining air quality. Try to buy wood from providers that use good forest management practices such as harvesting during sustainable months, reports Environmentally sound woodlot operations include thinning out dying, less desirable and damaged trees, and including a blend of species. “Have a high-efficiency, properly installed stove that meets local building codes that’s sized for the area to be heated,” says Brad Harr, senior environmental scientist and president of Summit Environmental Inc., in Boise, Idaho. “Use dry, 10 to 12 percent wood moisture. Water sucks up heat to get to combustion temperature. Run at high heat, generally over 1,000° F in the firebox, to effect complete combustion of the wood and gases.” Denser woods such as ironwood, rock elm, hickory, oak and sugar maple burn longer and conserve resources. Use a higher British thermal unit (BTU) per cord of wood to maximize heat production. ( has tips per region.) Harr adds, “Don’t starve the fire to extend burning time, as smoldering

can cause incomplete combustion.” This leads to more carbon monoxide and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) being released that can cause flu-like symptoms, and at high levels, unconsciousness and even death. To help maintain proper airflow and prevent soot buildup, shovel excess ash into a covered metal container, store it outside and dispose of it in a few days.

Smelling smoke can indicate the fireplace may be backdrafting and needs to be inspected. Harr also suggests checking periodically for potential cracks or rusting in the joints of a stovepipe. Make sure children and the elderly don’t accidentally touch the stove while in use and keep furniture a suitable distance away. Periodic inspections by a professional can address potentially dangerous creosote (tar deposit) accumulations, assure the catalytic converter is operating correctly and detect trapped debris in escape shafts that can force toxic gases back into the home and clog spark-arresting screens on tops of stovepipes or chimneys. If buying a new unit, make sure it’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-certified, which requires twothirds less wood to generate heat and emits fewer harmful particles—two to seven grams per hour—compared with 15 to 30 grams for models manufactured before 1992, according to

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Awakening to the Evolution of Community by Linda Sechrist


en master Thich Nhat Hanh’s suggestion that the next Buddha would likely not take form as an individual but rather as a sangha, a community practicing mindful living, led many people to ask, “Why a community?” The author of more than 100 books that explore the Buddha’s core teachings on mindfulness, kindness and compassion, Hanh clarified the meaning of sangha as a good community necessary for helping individuals learn how to encounter life in the present moment, resist the unwholesome ways of our time, go in the direction of peace and nourish seeds of enlightenment. Even the best intentions, he noted, can falter without such a group of trusted family, friends and co-practitioners experiencing mindfulness together.

A Migration to Forming Community

Today’s trend toward collaborative processes and opportunities for transformation through online communities is made easier by the availability of affordable video conferencing providers such as Zoom, Skype and Mighty Networks, as well as online platforms like Facebook and MeetUp. 12

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Although many groups form for marketing, political, civic or social purposes—allowing participants to share values and common interests—thousands more gather as online intentional communities associated with personal growth and spiritual awakening. Myriad individuals have been able to experience some aspect of community through international organizations such as MindValley, Hay House, the Shift Network and Dr. Deepak Chopra’s Jiyo, a wellness-focused mobile app intended to extend the reach of his ideas on health and social transformation from millions of people to more than 1 billion. In MeetUp, spiritual awakening groups recently comprised 1,113,972 members in 3,631 groups worldwide. Additionally, co-housing communities, spiritual residential communities and eco-villages continue to form around the intention of designing and implementing pathways to a regenerative future.

The Old Story Versus the New Story

The increased interest in intentional communities may hint at a possibility that the

human desire for community might be nature’s evolutionary nudge toward a collective leap that helps us to survive a changing climate and Earth’s potential sixth mass extinction. If so, this possibility needs a new supportive story that includes humans as part of nature, with its evolutionary impulse as a guide for body, mind and soul. With our modern scientific worldview, when people talk about nature, they typically mean animals, plants, geological features and natural processes, all happening independently of humans. A more suitable new story is cultural historian Thomas Berry’s moving and meaningful narrative in The Great Work: Our Way Into the Future, in which humans aren’t above nature by virtue of superior intellect, but instead are equal partners with all that exists in a materially and spiritually evolving universe. From Berry’s perspective, humans are the eyes, minds and hearts through which the cosmos is evolving so that it can come to know itself ever more perfectly through us. Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell shared Berry’s perspective. Traveling back to Earth after walking upon the lunar surface, Mitchell gazed out of the spacecraft



window, whereupon he was flooded with an ecstatic awareness. “I was a part of the universe I was observing, and I became aware that everything that exists is part of one intricately interconnected whole,” recounts Mitchell, who founded the groundbreaking Institute of Noetic Sciences to explore the nature of human consciousness.

A Guiding Light

Seijaku Roshi, the abbot and founder of the Pine Wind Zen Community, aptly named for its location in a pine forest in Shamong, New Jersey, advises, “People are searching and hungering for community, which is number one on my agenda. If we aren’t talking about community, we’re squandering the moment. Whether it’s an evolutionary nudge or not, it appears that our tragic world situation is pushing us towards an alternative vision for living a meaningful life that meets the needs of people, society and the environment. We are awakening to the fact we’re interconnected, interdependent and need community, which is the spirit and guiding light whereby people come together to fulfill a purpose, to help others fulfill their purpose and to take care of one another.”

A Community of Sisterhood

Laurie McCammon, author of Enough! How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word, feels certain that humans are evolving. “We were last to the party with our big brains, and now we’re trying to intellectualize our way to an uncertain future without important feminine values such as feeling, intuiting, nurturing, interdependency and vulnerability,” says McCammon, who is deeply involved in the circle movement, in which women gather in small groups to empower each other. A regular participant in Gather the Women Global Matrix, a worldwide sisterhood that connects thousands of women sharing meaningful conversations and celebrating the divine feminine with the intention of bringing about personal and planetary transformation through cooperation and collaboration, McCammon says, “No one of us can bring about large-scale transformation alone. It’s time to tell the new story wherein our lives and actions demonstrate that together we are enough. Non-hierarchical circles that encourage authentic communication are part of this

Co-Creating With the Intelligence of Nature

Teacher and futurist Peter Russell writes books that are focused on consciousness and contemporary spirituality. His lectures help humans free themselves of limited beliefs and attitudes that belie many of humanity’s personal, social and global problems. The author of The Global Brain: The Awakening Earth in a New Century, Russell posits that the evolutionary process naturally draws humans together. “Humans are social creatures that need community, which I find very energizing,” says Russell, who cites the Findhorn Foundation eco-village, in Scotland, as a dynamic experiment in community. “Although residents went through hard times, they recognized the need for SALT T H E RAPY

Conscious Evolution

Craig Hamilton, the guiding force behind the movement known as Integral Enlightenment, is the founder of the telecourse training program Academy for Evolutionaries. His spiritual guidance and teachings reach a growing international online community spanning 50 countries. “Transforming ourselves in the deepest possible way is, in fact, an evolutionary imperative, and we need to be able to identify the indicators of emergent shifts and participate creatively with change as an evolutionary force. Evolution up to this point has been playing out unconsciously. We’re now waking up and realizing that we can collaborate and participate in an emerging future.” Hamilton’s experience is that where humans awake to the one that is expressed through the many, they also begin to engage together. “Practicing community isn’t as simple as it seems. In online communities, a lot less can go wrong. The stakes aren’t as high. People come and go, share and engage as they like.”

new story.” Citing other important circle communities such as Tree Sisters and The Millionth Circle, McCammon suggests that women tap into The Divine Feminine app, which allows them to find circle communities and events anywhere in the world.

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honest communication so they could attune to one another in loving ways that would allow everyone to work through their difficulties. Today, life at Findhorn is guided by the inner voice of spirit, and residents work in co-creation with the intelligence of nature,” he says.

The Collective Wisdom of Community


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Surgeon Mary Neal on Lessons From Heaven by Kajsa Nickels

An uncertain future is emerging, making it necessary for new and more intuitive methods and spiritual practices for developing collective wisdom, human potential and the skills for practicing community. “I’m in the process of finalizing 118 chapters from 90 different authors for a Collaborative Change Library: Transforming Organizations, Revitalizing Communities, Developing Human Potential,” says associate editor Carole Gorelick, who clarifies that spiritual practices are now playing a part in bringing about collaborative change. She notes that several chapters are updated versions of The Change Handbook: The Definitive Resource on Today’s Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems (2007 second edition), which included modalities such as World Café, Open Space Technology, Art of Hosting, Appreciative Inquiry and many others. A living handbook for developing human potential and the skills to practice community, Fred Eppsteiner has been teaching Buddhism for 23 years. A student of Hanh’s since the 1960s, he is the founder of the Florida Community of Mindfulness, in Tampa. Eppsteiner sums up why the next Buddha could be a community: “A better future will be created by people who are living the values they want for the world, not just abstractly using only the intellect. In community, we ask ourselves, ‘Can I be what I want to see in the world? Can I practice these things mindfully in community with love, acceptance, deep listening, compassion and kindness?’ These are values that every Buddha has lived for centuries, and certainly ones we need to evolve from a culture of, ‘It’s all about me’ to a culture of, ‘It’s all about we’.” Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings. Connect at

wise words


n 1999, while kayaking on the Fuy River in Chile, orthopedic surgeon Mary Neal became trapped beneath a waterfall and drowned. She was underwater for 30 minutes before the current pulled her out. During that time, Neal experienced what she believes to be a miraculous event in which she penetrated the veil dividing the physical and spiritual worlds. There, she was told that it was not yet her time, and of the future death of her eldest son, a prediction that was fulfilled 10 years later. The experience gave her a new perspective on the purpose of our Earthly existence and life after death. She has since written two books on the subject: To Heaven and Back: A Doctor’s Extraordinary Account of Her Death, Heaven, Angels and Life Again; and 7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life. Her life-altering experience prompted her to pay more attention to those things that are truly important: faith, family and relationships with other human beings. She lives with her family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she continues to mend broken bones.

How do you think your medical background makes you uniquely qualified to speak on near-death experiences (NDE)?

I am a very concrete thinker and analyze everything. Being a doctor also gave me

cess to many resources that the common person would not. I spent many months researching scientific and medical literature to try to come up with a logical explanation of what had happened to me. I was forced to conclude that my experience fell outside of the parameters of both science and medicine. I could not find any examples to disprove what happened, especially when the predicted death of my oldest son came to pass.

What was the most profound moment of your experience?

It’s hard to pinpoint the most profound moment of the entire experience, but what impacted me most was the realization that God is real, and He is present to each and every one of us every moment of our daily lives. I realized to the depths of my soul that all God’s promises are true, not just wishful thinking or a vague hope.

How has your NDE made you a better wife, mother and medical professional?

You can’t have an NDE without having your entire life changed. When you realize that there is more to life than what you can see with your physical eyes, it changes your entire perspective on every moment of every day. The things we say and the things we do create a ripple effect that spreads beyond the boundaries of our human sight. Love

is ultimately the only thing that matters, to reflect love to the world and other people. I was a “good person” before my NDE, but I now see differently. I see that each human being is incredibly loved, and that we are all one: We are them, and they are us. Everything else in the world is secondary to God’s love and presence in our lives.

How is your approach to everyday life different than it was prior to your NDE?

I am able to be entirely present in every moment of my life. I can experience deep and abiding joy regardless of my circumstances. I am able to trust that grace covers my past, that there is life after death and a plan for my life. No matter what is happening, even if it is terrible, beauty will come out of it. Most people are trapped in regrets of the past and worry about the future. With complete trust in God, I am able to fully have joy in each and every moment.

Is there a difference between joy and happiness?

Absolutely. Happiness is an emotion based on circumstances. Happiness can accompany joy, but not always. Joy is a state of being, of trusting in God, of believing that his promises are true. Joy comes from freedom—freedom from disruptive emotions like guilt, remorse, unforgiveness. Even in the devastation of my oldest son’s death, I can honestly say that I experienced a deep joy from trusting in God’s love and promises.

Why do you believe heaven is written in our hearts?

As a scientist, I firmly believe that we are created beings with physical bodies and spiritual souls. I believe that our spiritual self remembers heaven and remembers joy. Part of our journey here on Earth is to rediscover our connection with God. As adults, we often feel that we have to choose between science and spiritualism. The truth is that they coexist, answering questions in different ways. Kajsa Nickels is a freelance author who lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Connect at

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December 2019


Stick with your favorite recipes that you know are going to be a success and are going to leave everyone’s taste buds happy. ~Pamela Reed


People-Pleasing Holiday Sweets by Julie Peterson


he holidays may send too many sugar plums and frosted gingerbread figures dancing in the heads of people with dietary restrictions. Anyone that chooses to avoid highly processed flours or sugars, artificial ingredients and loads of butter will typically be presented with all of this and more at social gatherings this time of year. They arrive on visually appealing cookie platters that tempt with their cute shapes, vibrant colors and sparkle.

Some, like the gingerbread and reindeer cutouts, will beckon with glazed eyes: “Just one,” they whisper. But one can turn into nine and make someone that may normally avoid sugar or gluten feel bodily regrets. Someone that is vegan or allergic may feel they can’t have treats. Making healthier choices about food is difficult for reasons many don’t understand. “People have relationships with food—involving family, comfort and

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traditions—and they don’t want to give that up,” says James Brandon, of Tampa, founder of Facebook’s Vegan and PlantBased Beginner’s Community. Brandon says that holiday treats are tough to resist, but staying true to health goals is most important in the long run. The best defense to avoid frustration at social food events is to bring a dish to share that meets your dietary needs, says Megan Gilmore, the author of No Excuses Detox: 100 Recipes to Help You Eat Healthy Every Day and a blogger at Detoxinista. com. “That way, you can introduce something delicious to your friends, family or co-workers and be sure you’ll have something to eat!” A batch of simple, delectable, visually appealing and healthful cookies can be that plate to share, a gift to give or something to keep on hand for guests. Keep the focus on simple, advises Pamela Reed, who blogs at There are plenty of recipes that will satisfy the sweet tooth and decorate the holiday buffet (until they’re all eaten, that is). Don’t increase holiday stress by trying a new recipe at the last minute. “Stick with your favorite recipes that you know are going to be a success and are going to leave everyone’s taste buds happy,” she says. Transitioning to a more conscious way of eating isn’t about deprivation or leaving tradition behind. Bring on the new and healthful cookie recipes and name one after your grandma. Julie Peterson writes from her home in rural Wisconsin. Contact her at


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conscious eating

Oh-So-Healthy Holiday Treats Peanut Butter Cookies (Vegan, Gluten-Free) Yields: About 18 cookies

photo by Pamela Reed

1 cup creamy peanut butter ½ cup coconut sugar ½ cup brown sugar 2 tsp vanilla ⅔ cup oat flour 1 tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt ¼ cup almond milk Additional sugar to roll cookies in Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, cream together peanut butter and sugars with a hand mixer. Once combined, add vanilla and continue mixing. Add flour, baking soda, salt and almond milk into the bowl and mix for a few seconds, until combined. The cookie dough will be a little crumbly.

Prepare 2 cookie sheets with silicone baking sheets or spray with nonstick spray. Roll the dough into large balls, and then gently roll in sugar to cover them. Use a fork to gently press down on each cookie a little bit—not too much, or they will crumble. Bake cookies for 12 minutes. Once out of the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes. This is important, as the cookies will be very soft when they come out of the oven, but they will harden up as they cool. Store in an airtight container or freeze. Recipe courtesy of

No-Bake Pecan Snowballs (Grain-Free, Vegan)

photo by Megan Gilmore

Yields: 12 balls 1 cup pecan halves ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut 1 cup soft Medjool dates, pitted (about 10 dates) 1 Tbsp coconut oil ½ tsp sea salt ½ tsp vanilla extract ½ cup arrowroot or tapioca starch Extra arrowroot for dusting, or coconut sugar Place the pecans and shredded coconut in a large food processor fitted with an “S” blade, and process until the pecans are broken down and crumbly. Add in the rest of the ingredients and process again, until a sticky dough is formed. (It should stick together when pressed between two fingers.) Scoop the dough by rounded tablespoons

and roll the dough between your hands, forming balls. Arrange the balls on a plate or baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then place them in the freezer to set, about 1 to 2 hours. For a “snowball” look, roll the balls in additional arrowroot or tapioca starch—just a light coating will do—since the starch will not enhance the flavor. It’s just for looks! Note: If you’d prefer to roll the balls in coconut sugar or shredded coconut, roll them in one of those options before freezing, so the coating will stick better.

Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to two weeks for best texture. Source:

Find more recipes online at Natural Awakenings recommends using organic, non-GMO (genetically modified) and non-bromated ingredients whenever possible. December 2019



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Many people have found that a regular breathing practice has helped them increase energy and decrease anxiety. ~Rachael Walter


Conscious Breathwork


by Marlaina Donato

ur first breath is instinctual and belly-deep, but as we grow into life, everyday stress and trauma can bring us into the shallows. Mindful breathing can help guide our breath back to its original, healthy rhythm. Both the brain and organs benefit from increased oxygen, and the vagus nerve that connects the two—prompted by changes in the body’s pH levels—releases acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for lowering heart rate. Breathwork can improve vagal tone, a major component in a wide range of conditions like depression, pain syndromes, sleep disturbances, anxiety disorders and chronic inflammation. A 2016 study by the Medical University of South Carolina published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine shows a lower number of proteins associated with inflammation in the saliva of participants that employed breathing exercises. A study that appeared in the journal Psychophysiology in 2015 found that 20 minutes of mindful breathing at bedtime fostered a good night’s rest for people with insomnia.

Breathing Breaks

From traditional rebirthing techniques using circular breathing to Middendorf Breath Work for somatic awareness, there are many styles of conscious breathing. The gentler approaches best suit everyday needs and taking a breathing break can actually provide more refreshment than one featuring coffee. “Many people have found that a regular breathing practice has helped them increase energy and decrease anxiety. It is a powerful tool to reset the nervous system when we’re overwhelmed and stressed,” says Somatic Breath Therapy (SBT) practitioner Rachael Walter, owner of Breathe-HereNow, in Keene, New Hampshire. Like many forms of breathwork, SBT bridges the chasm between mind and body. “Conscious breathing can also help people access and understand their emotions,” notes Walter. Pranayama, an ancient technique of yoga that focuses on breath control and employs alternate nostril breathing, can be performed while lying down, seated or on the yoga mat. Kundalini yoga teacher Melissa Crowder, owner of 4 States Yoga, in December 2019


Joplin, Missouri, advises students to start out slowly, three to six minutes a day, and then work up to a longer practice. “Alternate nostril breathing is a great practice for everyone. As little as six minutes of yogic breathing, as needed, can make a profound difference in decreasing pain and stress,” she says.

and in turn, presses upon the stomach and helps to churn the gastric juices. For this reason, it can aid earlier stages of digestion.” When used in conjunction with other modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy, diaphragmatic breathing might be beneficial for irritable bowel syndrome.

Belly Benefits

Breathing Into Feelings

The American Lung Association recommends a variety of exercises, including diaphragmatic (belly) breathing, for conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Engaging the diaphragm is key in breathing to fullest capacity. Walter explains, “An open, healthy breath is one in which we use the diaphragm to initiate the breath, followed by the belly expanding and the breath moving into the chest.” Most of us unconsciously fall into shallow and sometimes self-conscious breathing patterns at an early age. “During my training, I read that by age 6, we pick up on cues telling us to tuck in our tummies. This simple, bad habit begins a cascade of physiological responses. Upper chest breathing can create anxiety symptoms and poor digestion,” explains Colleen Breeckner, owner of Colleen Lila Yoga, in New York City. “Diaphragmatic breathing causes the diaphragm to become flat and wide,

The depth and quality of the breath can help us to become aware of emotional states that include “holding patterns”. “Conscious breathing is a doorway into deep meditation, which can help alleviate anger and insecurities. It can also be helpful in dropping addictions,” says Crowder. “Linking pranayama with physical movement [asanas] helps to release tension and emotions that can be held in the body’s soft tissues.” Breeckner agrees, “Developing this awareness can help us to move unpleasant and stuck emotions through the body.” Well-being can be just a breath away, says Walter. “When we open up our breath, we open ourselves to a fuller experience of being human. It has the capacity to bring us into the present moment to access our joy and our life’s purpose.” Marlaina Donato is an author and a composer. Connect at

Noteworthy Breathwork Styles Clarity Breathwork: Developed from the groundwork of Leonard Orr, with a focus on accessing the subconscious mind for self-awareness Holotropic Breathwork: Developed by psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, M.D., and his wife Christina and employs deep, rapid breathing to initiate an altered state of consciousness; training in the Grof method is required Integral Breath Therapy: Gentle technique for an altered state of consciousness that works with the body’s natural healing capacity Middendorf Breath Work: Named after German-born Ilse Middendorf, a gentle technique that does not include forcing the breath to promote healing Rebirthing Breathwork: Pioneering and well-known form of breathwork that was also developed by Orr with a focus on releasing unconscious energy blocks imprinted during the birth process Shamanic Breathwork: Uses specific breathing methods, chakras or energy centers, music and movement to overcome emotional blocks for deep-level healing Transformational Breath: Developed by Dr. Judith Kravitz using uninterrupted breathing, Kundalini yoga and other elements of physical and energetic healing; recommended by Dr. Christine Northrup and Dr. Deepak Chopra 20

NA Lowcountry Edition

Go-to Breathing Exercises From Rachael Walter: The Three-Breath Sigh Place one hand on your lower belly and the other on your chest. Breathing in through your nose, let your breath start in the belly and move up to the chest. Then exhale through your mouth while making an audible sighing sound. Repeat two more times. The Four-Eight Relaxing Breath Place one hand on your lower belly and the other on your chest. Using a belly breath, inhale to the count of four and exhale to the count of eight, making your exhale twice as long as your inhale to facilitate relaxation. Feel free to play with how fast or slow you count to find a comfortable breathing pace. Repeat for six to 10 times as needed. Breath Walk This is an excellent exercise to do while at work, school or a public place to give your nervous system a break, even when the world is crazy-busy around you. Walk at a slightly slower pace than normal and breathe in for one step; breathe out for the next step, counting three or four for each breath/step. Continue as you walk, being mindful of your breath, counting and surroundings.

For further inquiry, Melissa Crowder recommends these Kundalini yoga breaths: Shabad Kriya for promoting deep restful sleep Sitali Pranayama for lowering a fever or cooling off a hot temper Breath of Fire for improved brain circulation, stimulating digestion and weight control Right nostril breathing for afternoon slumps Left nostril breathing to quiet mind chatter at bedtime

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healthy kids

Refresh Holiday Traditions Making the Old New and Green


by Ronica A. O’Hara

elebrating classic holiday traditions the same way we always have—and maybe the way our parents and grandparents did—is part of the rich family heritage we pass on to our children. These family rituals are binding, grounding, memorable and much more, says Saul Levine, M.D., professor emeritus in psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. A survey of 50 years of family research published in the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Family Psychology found that family holiday rituals, as well as everyday routines like family dinners and bedtime stories, build stronger family relationships, enhance children’s health and academic achievement, help teenagers’ sense of personal identity and even boost marital satisfaction. It’s also natural and perhaps inevitable that these traditions undergo changes over the years. “If people from only five or six generations ago could see our modern Christmas, they’d barely recognize it,” says Brian Earl, host of the popular Christmas Past podcast that chronicles holiday tradi-

tions. “New trends and customs become traditions in time; every generation has its opportunity to add new chapters to the narrative and continue the story.” For Elizabeth Newcamp, Christmas festivities took an eco-turn for her military family of five when they were living for a few years in the Netherlands, where “Sinterklaas”

traditionally delivers gifts in reusable burlap bags. “In an effort to reduce wrapping paper, we now use the sacks on Christmas,” says Newcamp, who blogs about family travel at She and her husband Jeff also ask for and give experiences as gifts whenever possible; their 7-year-old son asked if he could organize a little library for their Navarre, Florida, neighborhood. Anyone that wants to send gifts to their sons is asked to find them used. “I don’t think we’ve lessened any of the fun of the holidays, but hopefully we are eliminating some of the waste,” she says. For many years, Ginny Underwood’s family in Bluffton, South Carolina, would dress up and go to a restaurant on Christmas Eve, exchange gifts and then return home to watch a movie or play board games. Last year, they tried something new: staying home, putting on pajamas, eating cottage pie and playing handmade “Minute to Win It” games that Underwood, a professional organizer who blogs at, created. “We had a blast; we didn’t stop laughing all night,” she says. “We saved hundreds of dollars and we had a lovely time.” Lighting red, green and black candles while focusing on principles like unity, self-determination or purpose are key in the seven-day Kwanzaa celebrations; but, “Instead of just lighting the candle amongst

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New trends and customs become traditions in time; every generation has its opportunity to add new chapters to the narrative and continue the story. ~Brian Earl friends and family and discussing, I want my family to spend that day exemplifying the principle,” says Vanessa Davis, executive director of the nonprofit African Village International, in Jacksonville, Florida. Now her children meditate, journal and practice mindfulness to learn about self-determination; volunteer or pick up trash outdoors to learn about collective work and responsibilities; and buy something at a locally-owned store and discuss future finances for cooperative economics. “I was inspired to change because Kwanzaa isn’t really a religious holiday, but it is a darn good way to reflect on the past year and goal-set for the future,” she says. “Giving children more hands-on experiences for Hanukkah and taking the emphasis off of ‘What am I going to get?’ makes the holiday more meaningful for the kids,” concurs Pamela Morris, early childhood education director at the East Valley Jewish Community Center, in Chandler, Arizona. Each Hanukkah evening, her family of five lights a menorah and says traditional prayers while also volunteering to wrap food packages at a local Feed My Starving Children event, crafting personal menorahs at a pottery studio, going to see Phoenix ZooLights and gathering to make the traditional potato latkes or jelly donuts. “Each night is a focus on family time and welcoming friends to join us,” she says. By observing and evolving traditions, family bonds can strengthen through time, relates Earl: “By participating in holiday rituals, children are learning about who they are. And by passing them down, parents reaffirm what’s important to them and keep the connection to the past intact.”  Ronica A. O’Hara is a Denver-based natural-health writer. Connect at


NA Lowcountry Edition

Updating Favorite Traditions n Instead of buying a Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush in a store lot, get one in a pot that can be replanted later. n Take a family holiday photo, either serious or wacky, and recreate it every year with members in the same poses and expressions. n Invite someone to a holiday dinner that’s not part of the family, such as an international student or newcomer in town. n Cook up a batch of healthy, vegan cookies with the kids and organize a neighborhood cookie swap. n Have a $10 or $20 gift exchange challenge in which everyone competes to come up with the most useful, creative or ecoclever use of the money. n String together popcorn and cranberries to make a tree garland or door decoration, and later drape it on outdoor trees to feed birds and wildlife. n Give kids $10 to donate to a carefully selected charity of their choice. n Take a favorite holiday story, parable or song and have the kids (and adults) act it out with costumes and all.

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NA Lowcountry Edition October 2019

calendar of events Submissions for the January issue must be received no later than December 10 and can be entered at $15 per entry for print edition Plans ChangeCall ahead to confirm events will occur as scheduled.


Sunday Brunch Funtastic Holiday Market – 11am-3pm. The POWER of Elderberries will be attending this family AND pet friendly holiday market. We will be in our regular market spot giving out free samples of our delicious, immuneboosting elderberry syrup for the family to taste. Come out and enjoy tasty treats, a marshmallow roast, hot cocoa and cider, live music, face painting, arts and crafts, gift basket raffle benefiting Amor Healing Kitchen, and 40+ local vendors to shop from. James Island, behind the Pour House. Free.


Old Village Holiday Street Festival – 5-8pm. The POWER of Elderberries will be attending this family friendly holiday festival. We will be at Pitt Street Pharmacy giving out free samples for the family to taste as well as raffling off a FREE bottle of our Delicious, Immune-Boosting Elderberry Syrup! Pitt Street, Mount Pleasant. Free.


Light the Lake – 5-7:30pm. Tree lighting & holiday festival at Colonial Lake presented by Publix and the Charleston Parks. Holiday cookie decorating, a festive photo booth and letters to Santa station, food trucks and an ugly sweater contest. Everyone is invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. The evening is topped off with the lighting of the tree in the center of Colonial Lake by Mayor John Tecklenburg and a performance by the Meeting Street Watoto Charleston Ensemble. Free.


Transformative Meditation Class – 10-11am. We will focus on achieving brain and heart coherence and discuss how habits and patterns of behavior are sabotaging our ability to move forward and create the lives we desire. With a combination of breath-work, gentle guidance, and high frequency biophotons, participants can achieve the results they desire. $30. 2366 Ashley River Rd, Ste 8, Charleston. 843-225-2024. Throw Yours Should’s Under The Bus Workshop – 11am-1pm. Learn how our feelings and behaviors about the circumstances in our lives come from our beliefs. Change your belief to change your behavior. Jackie demonstrates how she learned to choose joy, peace and happiness instead of her lifelong fear, anxiety and depression. Donation. 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843-566- 0600. UnityCharleston@msn. com. Mount Pleasant 20th Annual Holiday Market & Craft Show – 11am- 4pm. The POWER of Elderberries will be attending this Holiday Market and Craft Show that combines all the goodies of a traditional food market with handcrafted gifts created by local artisans. We will be giving out free samples of our delicious, immune-boosting

elderberry syrup for the family to taste as well as raffling off a FREE bottle of our elderberry syrup! Live entertainment with a holiday twist including face painting, balloon art, a craft area and a visit with Santa Claus. Free. ExperienceMountPleasant. com/Events/Holiday-Farmers-Market.

sure to check out the driving lights show before. Fair Admission Free. Driving Lights Tour $5 Per Car. Moncks Corner, SC. festivals-events.


Transformative Meditation – 10-11am. We will focus on achieving brain and heart coherence and discuss how to deal with holiday stress, including demands, family, loneliness, and other stressors associated with the holidays and completing another year. With a combination of breath-work, gentle guidance, and high frequency biophotons, participants can achieve the results they desire. $30 2366 Ashley River Rd, Ste 8, Charleston. 843-225-2024.


Intensive Workshop & Retreat- Being Still When the World Is Going Crazy w/ Lorraine Pursell – 2pm. In this 3-hour workshop you will discover your unique ways to replenish and rejuvenate yourself while the world is frantic, manic and in panic. Especially appropriate during the holidays. $40 Includes a Retreat Meal. 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant.

Unity of Charleston Joyous Christmas Service on Sunday before Christmas – 10:30am- 12pm. Join us for a fun and enriching service. Church choir caroling, (rehearsal Thursday Dec. 19, 6pm), Oplatke Christmas Wafer tradition for peace and sharing, Ugly Christmas Sweaters! Free Will Offering. 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843-566- 0600.



Christmas Caroling at the VA Hospital – 4-8pm. Caroling to visit and greet veterans in the hospital. Either meet at church at 4pm to stuff goodie bags (socks, snacks) or meet at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital entrance on Bee street at 6pm. We have the song books to use and you don’t need to sing well... just a smiling face and happy heart is all that is required. 109 Bee St, Charleston. 843-566- 0600.

Unity of Charleston Christmas Eve Service – 6-7:30 pm. Join us for a joyous Christmas Eve Service. Music with Corrine Letourneau, Brad Henty and Chris Crosby. Metaphysical Interpretation of the Christmas Story. 12 Powers Candle-lighting to empower your new year. Free will offering. 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843-566- 0600. UnityCharleston@


Burning Bowl and Letters to God Service – 10:30am-12pm. Create new year’s resolutions, intention, goals, dreams, and aspirations at this service! Free will offering. 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843-566- 0600. UnityCharleston@msn. com.

Navigating Holiday Stress – 10am-2pm. An Interactive Personalized Workshop to Help Us Deal with All the Sh*t to do with the Holidays. We will identify and clarify the specific stressors you face over the Holidays. Create action steps for each stressor. Determine the best ways to lower your overall stress levels. Move into the New Year with an action plan for continued stress reduction. $75. 2366 Ashley River Rd, Ste 8, Charleston. 843-2252024. Group Hypnotic Regression in the Salt Cave – 3-4:30pm. Dr. Allison Brown, Quantum Healing Practitioner, will induce participants into a state of deep relaxation where they will have the opportunity to experience 1-2 past lives. Time will be included for journaling and discussion. $30.To reserve your spot, please visit: salt-oasis-group-regression-experience. 103 Harth Pl, Ste B, Summerville. 843-501-1757.



Mayoral Proclamation of January being Interfaith Harmony Month – 11am- 12pm. Join 10 children from 10 different faiths, singer Heather Rice and Mayor Tecklenberg. Hosted by the Charleston Interreligious Council. Free. Charleston City Hall. Charleston City Council Chambers, 80 Broad St. Charleston. 843 577-6970. Charleston-SC.Gov


Unity of Charleston New Years Eve Program – 7-8:30 pm. Bring in the NEW YEAR with faith, hope and love....and snacks! Free will offering . 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843-566- 0600.


Moncks Corner Celebrate The Season Fair – 6pm. Family Friendly Holiday Fair And Lights Show. The POWER of Elderberries will attend the 9th Annual Celebrate The Season Fair December 20th - 22nd! Enjoy visits with Santa, the Grinch, children’s rides, marshmallow roasting and more. We will be giving out free samples of our delicious, immune-boosting elderberry syrup for the family to taste as well as raffling off a FREE bottle of our elderberry syrup! Craft market, with goods from local artisans. Local charities and food trucks will offer festive foods and beverages for sale. Be

ongoing events

sunday Unity of Charleston Service – 10:30am. Are you more spiritual than religious? So are we! Do you believe in many paths to God? Then join us. Unity of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843566-0600.

December 2019


Unity of Mt Pleasant – 10-11am. Unity is a Positive Path for Spiritual Living. We lovingly welcome people of all faiths and inspire them to live with Passion. Free. Unity of Mt Pleasant, 1470 Ben Sawyer, #7, Mt Pleasant. 843-814-1322. lleshay@ Rainbows End Gift Shop – 10:30am-1pm. Spiritual, metaphysical and inspirational books, crystals, jewelry, incense, tarot/oracle cards, and gifts. 843566-0600.

monday Complimentary Natural Female Hormone Balancing Consultations – 10am-4pm. With Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen. Free. Lime and Lotus, 925-F Wappoo Rd, West Ashley. Call to schedule: 843-214-2997. ThetaHealing Technique w/ Maria Fink – 7-8:30pm. Every 1st & 3rd Monday. Identity subconscious limiting beliefs to change them into empowering ones. Clear stuck patterns or emotions. Feel new emotions and learn universal concepts through energetic downloads from the highest plane of creation. bliss Facilitators offer 150+ classes per month. Join us! 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant. Weekly Body Sculpting w/ Missy Michels – 11am -12pm. A weight bearing workout for all levels. We have balls, bands, mats & weights to share. You are encouraged to bring a water bottle or stop at the bliss hospitality bar to hydrate before class. bliss Facilitators offer 150+ classes per month. Join us soon! 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant. spinchik40@ Complimentary First Session! Experience the healing power of Acupuncture – 10:00am-6:15pm. Daily through Saturday. We want everyone to come experience Acupuncture in our luxurious Zen lounge! What do you have to lose? In thirty minutes or less, experience healing, escape, relaxation and a balancing of your body. Call to book an appointment now! Free offer to local SC residents only. Residents outside of the local area will be charged $29 introductory rate. Modern Acupuncture -Belle Hall, 608 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant. 843-352-2298. Star Seeds Gathering – 7pm. Monthly on the 2nd Monday. Monthly gathering for the Star Seeds of Charleston to gather, share and co-create a space where it is safe for exploring multi- dimensional beings and polarities. 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant.

tuesday Living and Wellness Class – 6-7pm. 1st Tues of the month. Learn Healthy Habits. Call to find out the topic of the month. Free. 1164 Northbridge Rd (West Ashley), Charleston. 843-270-9913. ChiroAnn@ 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 of Charleston, 2535 Leeds Ave, Charleston. 843-364-5725.


NA Lowcountry Edition



Complimentary Natural Female Hormone Balancing Consultations – 10am-4pm. With Dr. Stephanie Zgraggen. Free. Lime and Lotus, 925-F Wappoo Rd, West Ashley. Call to schedule: 843214-2997.

Introductory Meditation Class – 9:30-10:30am. Every Sat at 9:30 am, come and learn a practical meditation technique and teachings on why it is effective in reducing anxiety and improving concentration. 20-min guided meditation included with gong. Free. 757 St Andrews Blvd, Charleston. 843-641-7663.

thursday Reiki for Vets – 1-2pm. Free drop-in Reiki clinic for veterans and their spouse or caregiver. VAapproved volunteers will provide free 15-minute Reiki sessions to any disabled vet receiving services through the VA. No appointment necessary! Call or visit website for more information. Free. Naval Nuclear Power Training Command, 101 Naval Nuclear Power Training Command Cir, Goose Creek. 843-425-4906. THRIVE Domestic Violence Support Group – 6-7pm. Connect in a safe, confidential forum with others who are experiencing or have experienced violence in their relationships. In an atmosphere of respect, safety and empathy, draw comfort and empowerment from those who understand. Facilitator: Sharon Steffan. Free. bliss Spiritual Co-op, 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant. 843-345-7061. Holistic Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting – 6:30-8:00pm. Holistic Chamber of Commerce represents holistic professionals,practitioners, businesses and resource providers. We encourage and promote healthy living, and support those who make it possible. Please join the community every third Thursday of the month as we network, promote and heal. 2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd #118, Charleston, (843) 990-2641. holisticchamberofcommerce. com/wasc. Growing & Selling Microgreens w/ Tim Shaw – 6-7pm.2nd & 4th Thursday in the TASTING room. Discover the tasty health benefits of Microgreens and explore how simple they are to grow on your own. These miniature greens, herbs and other vegetables are packed with flavor and are a concentrated source of nutrients. Donations Appreciated. 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant. tish@ Weekly Qi Gong w/ Mark Patterson – 7:108:10pm. Qi Gong has been used in China for over 4,000, years to cultivate energy, vitality, and over all well-being. Qi Gong increases your life force and vitality, super charges your immune system and helps reverse aging. All encouraged to join us! Donations Appreciated. 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant.

friday Weekly Course in Miracles w/ Sara Walker –10:30am-12pm. Ongoing study for retraining the mind that is spiritual rather than religious in its perspective. The Course teaches a unique non-dualistic thought system dealing with universal spiritual themes. Facilitators offer 150+ classes per month. All welcome to try something new! Donations Appreciated. 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr. Mt. Pleasant.

Compost Daze – 10am-2pm. Compost Rangers Compost Daze volunteer monthly workday every 2nd Sat of the month. Location will vary, so follow Compost Rangers on Facebook or visit and sign up for email reminders. Hemp Oil – 10:30-11:30am. Third Saturday of the month. Please join the green revolution. PrimeMyBody is a global health and wellness company that helps people to live wellness and create lifestyle. We formulate life-changing products with quality in mind, and that means using nothing but the best nature has to offer. Being healthy isn’t a fad or a trend... instead, it is a lifestyle. Free. bliss Spiritual Co-op, 1163 Pleasant Oaks Dr, Mt Pleasant.843-847-1927. Simply Meditate – 10:30-11:45am. 2nd and 4th Saturdays. 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. Charleston Theosophical Study Center – 3:455:45pm. Meets the last Sat of each month. We study metaphysical subjects including Reincarnation, Karma, Life after Death. Free. Otranto Regional Library, 2261 Otranto Rd, N Charleston, SC. 843899-0619.

classifieds Community Spotlight and News Brief writers wanted Educate the community about local area nonprofits and news related to natural living, wellness, sustainability and environmental efforts in our area. Freelance position, interns welcome to apply. Please email Publisher@NALowcountry. com with writing sample if interested.

Healthy Living Publication FOR SALE Well established natural health publication in SC with steady revenue stream for sale. Serious inquiries only. 864-248-4910.

PRODUCTS Carolina CBD Solutions – Countless Conditions - One Solution - CBD! Local pharmacist-owned manufacturer offering quality CBD products at a great value. Oils, capsules, gummies, creams, balms. 843336-3390.

community resource guide


Connecting you to the leaders in natural health care and green living in our community. To find out how you can be included in the Community Resource Guide, email


beauty consultant



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).

Your Grooming Guru, Barbara Brant-Williams, is an experienced hair-stylist, 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. See ad, page 21.

1307 Savannah Hwy, West Ashley 843-763-7200

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

AMA board-certified MD specializing in family medicine, holistic internal medicine, Antiaging, Chinese medicine, naturopathy. Merge Medical Center … where modern thinking meets natural healing. Services include Primary Care, Weight Loss, Fatigue management, Bioidentical hormones, Colonics, Acupuncture, Massage, Reiki, Chiropractic, IV vitamins, and Bemer therapy.


Jennifer Byrne MPH, CAP, LMT NAMA-certified Ayurvedic Practitioner 232A Ashley Ave, Charleston • 843-743-8373 Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of health and longevity. An Ayurvedic consultation can help you understand your unique constitution and identify how your system manifests imbalances. Individualized dietary, lifestyle and herbal recommendations are tailored to address any current imbalances. Call/email for scheduling.

1319 Savannah Hwy, Ste C Charleston (in Artisans Inc Salon) 843-813-1838


Mt Pleasant/Charleston 843-732-0293 • BioMagnetic Therapy can help create balance, restore vitality within the body and facilitate clearing of viral, bacterial, fungal, parasitic infections; allergies; ADD; autism; autoimmune issues; heavy metal and other toxicity; chronic pain; infertility; herpes; MS; among other conditions. See ad, page 11.


Abigail McClam, BA, LMBT 232A Ashley Ave, Charleston 843-724-9807• 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.

CBD OIL, PRODUCTS EUCALYPTUS WELLNESS & ELIXIR BAR 280 W Coleman Blvd, Ste E Mt Pleasant • 843-388-4956

We offer the largest selection of CBD Oil products in the Lowcountry. Our staff is trained to answer any of your CBD questions. Store hours Monday thru Saturday 9am-7pm, Sunday 12-5pm.


3373 S Morgans Point Rd, Ste 307 Mt Pleasant 843-971-8814 Holistic Family Care practice, offering a variety of techniques and therapies to help improve overall health and wellness. Proudly serving the Charleston area for 17 years.

Atlas Spine & Wellness Care

Dr. Rick DiGregorio 3400 Salterbeck Street #102 Mount Pleasant, SC 843-352-7941 • Offering Atlas Orthogonal Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care. A nonforce neck realignment procedure that uses a sound wave that is precise and safe. As well as Class 4 Laser Therapy and Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression. See ad, page 6.


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; bio-identical hormones; sugar detox; stress testing; chiropractic; peripheral neuropathy; detox footbaths; emotional (TBM/NET) and wellness care.

Dr. Ann Jenkins, Not Your Ordinary Chiropractor 1164 Northbridge Dr, Charleston (West Ashley) 843-270-9913 •

Exclusive to the area: Whole Body Magnetic Therapy. Mention Natural Awakenings for a free one-hour session. Holistic family care. Relief of neck, back and emotional pain. Homeopathy and essential oils.

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

Sunday Service: 10:30 am. Are you more spiritual than religious? Do you believe in many paths to God? Then please join us.

December 2019






North Charleston 843-743-9488

Herbs and Health Foods 119 N Goose Creek Blvd, Ste K Goose Creek • 843-797-3200

Transformational Coach and Shamanic Healer. Break through unconscious barriers to fully LIVE the LIFE you desire! Monthly Meditation/Shamanic Healing, Moon Ceremonies and Healing Retreats.


Angel Muehlenkamp, MA Professional Counseling Summerville 843-327-1440 • We are here to live in the fullness of who and what we truly are. Angel uses her unique ability to Connect to Source to assist you in moving beyond daily limitations. Open to a brand new way of living. Talk, Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy; Quantum-Touch; Reiki; Intuitive Counseling; Art of God; Life Coaching; and Spiritual Counseling.

DENTISTRY 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 inside back cover.


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.


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.

HEMP OIL PrimeMyBody Hemp Oil 843-847-1927

Learn about our Endo-Cannabinoid System, Phyto-Cannabinoids and Hemp Oil! There is research on more than 250 conditions and cannabidiol. Hemp oil might be the most important product you add to your health regimen!

Integrative Medicine Lowcountry Wellness Center 1483 Tobias Gadson Blvd., Suite 201 Charleston 843-793-1353

Holistic and Integrative Primary Care offered in an affordable monthly membership model. Bringing healthcare back to true patient driven care between you and Dr. Penni! See ad, page 2.

YOUNG LIVING ESSENTIAL OILS WITH LISA BAYOREK Lisa Bayorek, Member #10796546 Charleston

Curious about essential oils? I would love to share Young Living with you! I offer classes on family wellness, chemical-free cleaning, business opportunities and more! See ad, page 15.

Zenergy Healthcare

Tina Howard Daniel Island, SC 843-817-6994 Board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner specializing in family/ functional medicine. Find the root cause of your issues. Primary care, prevention, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, digestive health, brain health, neurodegenerative conditions, fatigue, autoimmune Illness, mold exposure/illness, weight loss, environmental toxins.


NA Lowcountry Edition


By appointment only 517 Savannah Highway Charleston, SC 29407 843-324-6460 • 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.

Light Activator Shield of Light

Renae Davidson 843-367-8829 Shield of Light can help you move forward with ease and grace. Do you feel dormant, dull? Let us help you progress faster, becoming your own healer. Let us light up your DNA! Ask us how.

NATURAL HEALTH ECOHEALTH WELLNESS CENTER & DETOX SPA Tiffany Jackson 1051 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, Ste B Mt Pleasant • 843-884-4466

Tiffany Jackson specializes in chronic GI disorders, correcting nutritional deficiencies, personalized diet plans and detoxification. EcoHealth offers Infrared Saunas, Migun Massage and Alkaline Water. See ad, page inside back cover.


215 East Bay St., Suite 201-A Charleston, SC 29401 Online booking available 843-801-4686 Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with over 25 years of experience. Private consultations, grocery store tours, public speaking. Owner of Carolina Green Living LLC, which focuses on teaching clients about avoiding toxins and other environmental factors that can impact health.





2671 Ft 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 3.

Charleston Holistic Center 2366 Ashley River Rd, Bldg 8, Charleston 843-452-7996 Transform your life from the ordinary to the extraordinary by understanding how the aspects of your being interact and block your progress. Together, we can heal your past and find your true future. See ad, page 9.


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.


1744 Sam Rittenberg Blvd Suite C Charleston, SC 29407 843-327-4761 •

Alternative Health Charleston Michael Boggs, Health Consultant Charleston, SC 29405 843-408-0010

Reiki Treatments and Classes plus Teacher Training mentorship programs. NCBTMB approved classes locally, nationally and internationally. Maureen has been a Usui Reiki Master/Teacher since 2003.

Spiritual Hypnosis DR ALLISON BROWN, QUANTUM HEALING PRACTITIONER 843-425-4906 In-person or online sessions available

Experience BQH, a heart and energy-based regression experience that is considered one of the most advanced healing modalities on the planet today. Connect directly with your Wisdom Team for purpose, guidance, and healing!

ad, page 9.

Johnny Zecopoulos, BSME 843-327-3726 (for filtration) (for Kangen ionizers) Your one-stop source for cleaner water through NSF/WQA certified filtration and/or healthier water through life-altering devices known as Kangen Water ionizers.





Got Vitality? More Energy. Better Sleep. A Whole New You. BENEFITS OF REALNAD+*include Anti-Aging, Energy Production, Sports Performance and Addiction Recovery. Contact us to learn more about the importance of NAD. See

Dr Stephanie Zgraggen, DC, MS, CNS, CCN Lime and Lotus, LLC 925 Wappoo Rd – Ste F, Charleston 843-214-2997

Painful periods? Hot flashes? Fatigue? Weight gain? Dr. Stephanie takes a holistic, individualized approach toward natural female hormone balance where she helps facilitate the healing process with simple, safe and effective therapies such as herbal medicine, whole food nutritional supplementation, and dietary and lifestyle modifications.

For Less than $3 per day... You Can Start Marketing Your Business! You Can’t Even Boost A Facebook Post To 30K People For This Price! Reach over 30K Lowcountry Area Natural Health & Wellness Readers per month with a Community Resource Guide Listing

You will also receive: one News Brief or *Health Brief every 6 months (your opportunity to share what’s new with your business or to expound upon a health issue within your area of expertise) – approximately 200 words Plus up to 3 calendar events per month!

listing appears both in print and online! *Health Brief needs to be backed by reputable studies, etc.

Contact Us Today: 843-821-7404 or email December 2019


Seven years without a cold?

had colds going round and round, but not me.” Some users say it also helps with sinuses. Attorney Donna Blight had a 2-day sinus headache. When her CopperZap arrived, she tried it. “I am shocked!” she said. “My head cleared, no more headache, no more congestion.” Some users say copper stops By Doug Cornell nighttime stuffiness if used just before cientists recently discovered time. He hasn’t had a single cold for 7 bed. One man said, “Best sleep I’ve had a way to kill viruses and years since. in years.” bacteria. He asked relatives and friends to try Copper can also stop flu if used early Now thousands of people are using it it. They said it worked for them, too, so and for several days. Lab technicians to stop colds and flu. he patented CopperZap™ and put it on placed 25 million live flu viruses on a Colds start the market. CopperZap. No viruses were found alive when cold viruses Soon hundreds soon after. get in your nose. of people had Dr. Bill Keevil led one of the teams Viruses multiply tried it and given confirming the discovery. He placed fast. If you don’t feedback. Nearly millions of disease germs on copper. stop them early, 100% said the “They started to die literally as soon as they spread and copper stops colds they touched the surface,” he said. cause misery. if used within 3 People have even used copper on In hundreds hours after the first cold sores and say it can completely of studies, EPA sign. Even up to prevent outbreaks. New research: Copper stops colds if used early. and university 2 days, if they The handle is researchers have confirmed that viruses still get the cold it is milder than usual curved and finely and bacteria die almost instantly when and they feel better. textured to improve touched by copper. Users wrote things like, “It stopped contact. It kills germs That’s why ancient Greeks and my cold right away,” and “Is it picked up on fingers Egyptians used copper to purify water supposed to work that fast?” and hands to protect and heal wounds. They didn’t know “What a wonderful thing,” wrote you and your family. about microbes, but now we do. Physician’s Assistant Julie. “No more Copper even kills Dr. Bill Keevil: Copper quickly kills deadly germs that Scientists say the high conductance colds for me!” cold viruses. of copper disrupts the electrical balance Pat McAllister, 70, received one have become resistant in a microbe cell and destroys the cell in for Christmas and called it “one of the to antibiotics. If you are near sick seconds. best presents ever. This little jewel really people, a moment of handling it may Tests by the EPA (Environmental works.” keep serious infection away. It may even Protection Agency) show germs die Now thousands of users have simply save a life. fast on copper. So some hospitals tried stopped getting colds. The EPA says copper still works copper for touch surfaces like faucets People often use CopperZap even when tarnished. It kills hundreds of and doorknobs. This cut the spread of preventively. Frequent flier Karen Gauci different disease germs so it can prevent MRSA and other illnesses by over half, used to get colds after crowded flights. serious or even fatal illness. and saved lives. Though skeptical, she tried it several CopperZap is made in America of The strong scientific evidence gave times a day on travel days for 2 months. pure copper. It has a 90-day full money inventor Doug Cornell an idea. When “Sixteen flights and not a sniffle!” she back guarantee. It is $69.95. he felt a cold about to start he fashioned exclaimed. Get $10 off each CopperZap with a smooth copper probe and rubbed it Businesswoman Rosaleen says when code NATA15. Go to or call gently in his nose for 60 seconds. people are sick around her she uses “It worked!” he exclaimed. “The cold CopperZap morning and night. “It saved toll-free 1-888-411-6114. Buy once, use forever. never got going.” It worked again every me last holidays,” she said. “The kids ADVERTORIAL

Copper in new device stops cold and flu



NA Lowcountry Edition

An Attractive Smile Makes a Lasting Impression!

Personalized Consultations with Tiffany Jackson, ND

Improve Digestion • Decrease Inflammation Reduce Pain • Lose Weight Better Sleep • Improve Skin Health Increase Energy

• Ozone Therapy • Safe Amalgam Removal • BPA-Free Fillings Biological General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry

Call Us Today: 843-884-1215 1571 Mathis Ferry Road Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

843-884-4466 1303 Ben Sawyer Blvd, Suite 7 Mount Pleasant, SC 29464


YourWaterGirl 843.647.8885

Water the way nature intended. Clean, micro-clustered, anti-oxidant rich, alkaline Kangen Water.

Call to learn about your FREE trial today! December 2019


Innovative Health Solutions for Optimal Health From advanced energetic scans and laser contouring to chiropractic spine relief, we have the tools and expertise ready to optimize your health.

"I was weeks away from scheduling a cervical fusion and had tried many different approaches to relieving my chronic pain. Injections, TENS, traction, adjustments, massage ... nothing worked for long. I will be the first to say that I was doubtful but I am a different person than I was just a few weeks ago. It has been an amazing experience." Becky Sweat Kirby

Services Chiropractic Care Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) SpectraVision BioBalance Technology Biological Preference Scanning Non-Invasive Body Contouring Verju Laser System FDA Cleared Robotic Laser

Book an Appointment Call today! 843.766.4444

EXCITING NEWS We've Moved! Meet Dr. Jesse Ross, an influencer in local schools, businesses, organizations and the holistic world. By combining the most current technology with genuine compassionate care and a strong focus on education, Dr. Jesse's goal is to optimize your healing experience with long-lasting results.

419 Hibben Street Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

Coming Soon... YOGA!

Profile for Natural Awakenings Lowcountry

Natural Awakenings Charleston SC, Lowcountry Edition - December 2019  

Natural Awakenings Charleston SC, Lowcountry Edition - December 2019 New Holiday Traditions, Vegan Holiday treats, The Evolution of Communit...

Natural Awakenings Charleston SC, Lowcountry Edition - December 2019  

Natural Awakenings Charleston SC, Lowcountry Edition - December 2019 New Holiday Traditions, Vegan Holiday treats, The Evolution of Communit...