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January 2012 Publisher Letter

In a former life as a corporate information technology professional, I worked with a lovely woman named Denise who had undergone a hysterectomy when she was 34, due to complications with a pregnancy. For several years afterwards, Denise suffered from chronic pain, hot flashes, hormonal imbalances and severe mood swings, all of which affected her day to day quality of life.

Countless specialists prescribed Denise endless medications to no avail. Finally, as a last resort she decided to try acupuncture. The little she had heard about this alternative treatment sounded pretty “out there” to her, she said. Still, she decided to give it a shot, feeling that she had nothing to lose. Within just two weeks, Denise experienced the first significant relief from plaguing symptoms and announced that she felt better than she had in years. In four months, she was mostly symptom-free and finally felt normal again.

Because Denise openly shared her experience with others, another woman at work, Laine, felt encouraged to seek acupuncture treatment for her own chronic back pain. For years, Laine had received cortisone shots every three months to help and, although she was never completely pain-free, they offered enough relief to allow her to function most of the time. Inspired by Denise’ happy example, Laine too decided to begin receiving acupuncture treatments and immediately experienced significant pain relief. She hasn’t had a cortisone shot since, and that was two years ago.

I love sharing Denise and Laine’s stories because they provide hope to others that may be hesitant about trying alternative health care modalities. Their experiences inspire me and serve as a reminder of how essential Natural Awakenings is to our community as a venue for educating us all about more natural paths to health and wellness.

In this month’s timely feature article, author Kathleen Barnes explains how alternative health care is going mainstream. New research, long-term clinical evidence, and consumers’ increasing demand for noninvasive and effective complementary treatments prove that many of these can work hand-in-hand with conventional therapies. The ensuing worldwide phenomenon of integrative medicine launched in 1994 by Dr. Andrew Weil, founder of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, continues to gain momentum.

I am delighted to share with you this special edition of Natural Awakenings, which is packed with practical information and ideas for taking control of your own health and well-being.

Wishing you vibrant health in the New Year!

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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