Letter From Publisher
Dec 29, 2011 01:16AM
● By Nancy Caniff
When we began publishing Natural Awakenings nearly two years ago, we could only imagine the possibilities for alternative and complementary health care in the region. Today, we have come together to successfully weave a stronger natural living community than ever before.
As Kathleen Barnes points out in “Alternative Goes Mainstream,” this phenomenon is due to a confluence of trends: a growing body of credible scientific research that supports the effectiveness of many alternative therapies; public demand for a choice of natural and non-invasive therapies; and conventional practitioners that have embraced holistic treatments such as mind-body practices and energy medicine.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) in the National Institutes of Health has begun to fund studies of alternative and complementary therapies, but many more are urgently needed. Director Dr. Josephine P. Briggs characterizes the need as compelling. “Tens of millions of Americans are spending $34 billion per year (mostly out-of-pocket) on a variety of complementary approaches, most often without any solid [clinical] evidence about safety or usefulness,” she observes. Testimonies of those helped and healed by such approaches are most often anecdotal. The opportunities to make real differences in some very challenging health issues are equally compelling.
NCCAM research has also influenced practice by health professionals. Considering a growing body of research through the rigorous lens of evidence-based medicine, the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society include a number of complementary approaches including healing touch, massage, acupuncture, and chiropractic in their clinical practice guidelines for managing chronic low back pain. Complementary approaches are increasingly being integrated into conventional care in a variety of settings.
Together we are fostering a natural health care revolution. As one local integrative physician remarks, “We are in a paradigm shift right now where integration of alternative and Western medicine is beginning.”
Looking to the future, Linda Sechrist asked respected experts to demystify the year 2012 on the Maya calendar, and they answered with reassurance about what is and is not predicted for planet Earth this year. Go ahead and plan your next holiday party for December 22, 2012!
To tie it all together, we share insight from Deepak Chopra on the universal outlook for conscious being.
May we all become conscious beings.
Nancy Caniff, Publisher