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Using Complementary and Alternative Medicine

We hear a lot about healing arts like breath work and Reiki, but a lot of us have no idea what they are. Here’s an intro for an open- minded approach to taking control of your health

BY VICTORIA L. KIDD Many of us spent the last few weeks

of 2014 making the annual decisions that come with each year’s open season for health insurance benefi ts. It’s a time to proactively think about the needs for one’s self and family. As the year draws to a close, we often translate those thoughts into resolutions we “fully intend” to follow for the entirety of the upcoming year. Perhaps a better use of our time would be to examine the health services we currently use and to identify complementary practices and modalities that could improve our health and overall sense of well being for the long haul. These practices, sometimes

labeled as “alternative health practices” or as “complementary and alternative medicine,” have found a growing acceptance in a country where chronic health


are on the rise. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 38 percent of Americans adhere to or advocate for some type of alternative medicine or complementary health practice. For many, these practices are employed alongside traditional medical therapies in what is certainly a unique marriage of old and new health philosophies—and some of the new ones are actually contemporary versions of traditional medicine. The umbrella of complementary

and alternative medicine includes between

150 and 200 different

practices (depending on what source one reviews). Some practices—such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, Reiki, herbalism, Pilates, and yoga (in its many

forms)—are relatively well

known. Others—such as Ayurveda, fl ower therapy, transcendental meditation, and sound therapy—are less common in the U.S. but have multitudes of followers worldwide. With acceptance of these practices growing steadily over the past 20

years, you can almost certainly fi nd a local advocate, master, or practitioner skilled in the particular area of interest to you. Many people considering adding complementary or alternative

practices to their

health and fi tness program will start with yoga.

Most of us think we know what yoga is. After all, yoga studios and individual yoga practitioners appear frequently in commercials, television shows, and inspirational posters. The word itself conjures images of fi t, young women standing in silhouette against a setting sun, their foot fl at against their knee as they balance on one leg. The reality of yoga is much more substantive than this single image implies. Lisha Simester is an internationally known yoga master, author, counselor, and expert in matters related to the mind/body relationship. (More information about her classes— offered at studios in Shepherdstown, Charles Town and Winchester—can be found at www.jalayogafl She explains, “In yoga, the goal is to balance the mind and body through a series of physical, breathing, and relaxation exercises.” Simester says yoga is an excellent means of reducing stress, controlling weight gain, and increasing one’s overall sense of good health. “The very quality of the postures

and breathing fl ow encourages the centering of mental concentration within,” she relays. “We learn to get more in touch with what is going on within our body and our mind. We learn to listen, to be more aware of our inner being—so often forgotten in the midst of external demands—and to fi nd a deeper state of peace.” Kate Thuss, a certifi ed and

registered Integral Hatha Yoga Teacher and a certifi ed Reiki Master, agrees that yoga is a terrifi c way to

Specializing in Structural Bodywork


Offices in Shepherdstown, WV & Winchester, VA Lori Robertson

Chris Crawford LMT, CMT, CSIT 540-270-7601

LMT, CMT, SIT 540-336-4737

“T ank you for a profoundly

blissful healing experience.” Client since January 2014

Charles Town, WV (304) 728-6996

31 Willow Spring Drive, Suite 201

Astr ological Consultant Lisha Simester


soſtware of your mind and change the print out of your life.

Michelle De Stefano, C.H. Cell: 518 929 3392 Email:


HYPNOSIS to rewrite the

Pick Your Own All Natural, Locally Grown Produce All Winter Long Tangy Produce Geo Derick, MSc, AHG Humanistic Counselor

1352 Persimmon Lane Shepherdstown, (336) 905-5904 Tangy Produce on Facebook

Lisha Simester Shepherdstown, WV Ages 6-12 $90 Cell: 518 929 3392 Email:


 

Awarenss, Presence, Compassion, Gratitude, & Empathy through Guided Meditation, Yoga, Stories & Refl ection through the Arts. Register at

Classes and private sessions offered by Lisha Simester, author of The Natural Health Bible

Registered Medical Herbalist Nutrition and Health Coach

MD 410-707-4486 VA 540-955-4769

Cell: 518 929 3392 Email: Founder/Director/Master Teacher

GoldenYoga Lisha Simester


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