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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Welcome to Our May Issue

Elisa Smith

It’s impossible to have healthy communities without healthy women. Despite evolving societal norms, women still remain the primary caretakers of families, and make the majority of household decisions related to health. We typically choose and prepare the foods our families eat, influence the type and amount of exercise they get, and determine how health issues are addressed.

As writer for Natural Awakenings, I’ve been fortunate to interview a variety of brilliant, passionate natural health practitioners and advocates. I love that this magazine provides a gathering place for a tribe that for so long seemed lost and scattered throughout a mainstream system of bias and misinformation, one that often paints conventional health care – a system itself in dire need of healing – as the only viable option. Don’t get me wrong; conventional Western medicine is often necessary. But even when it presents the best option, there is much we can do to enhance its effectiveness and improve outcomes. We must remain vigilant in being advocates for our own health, and for the health of our families. Because, let’s face it, no one – regardless of education, passion or pedigree - is more invested in our health and wellbeing than we are. And if they are, then shame on us.

A Chinese proverb wisely states: when sleeping women awake, mountains will move. We may have been asleep (perhaps because we were prescribed some type of sedative for virtually every health issue we sought medical help for), but we have most definitely awakened as a force to be reckoned with. Changing the status quo in our society is challenging, but we’re proving that it’s not only doable, but inevitable. Pressure from educated, enlightened women (with support from the wonderful men who love us) is the sole reason for the progress we’ve seen in issues affecting women’s health. It’s why insurance companies are now required to pay for breast reconstruction following mastectomy. It’s why women are now involved in clinical trials of new drugs after being under-represented for decades. It’s why recommendations for mammograms have been revised downward, sparing expense, dangerous radiation exposure, and often needless procedures. It’s why we are experiencing the ongoing passionate debate over the safety of multiple vaccinations for children. Momentum is in our favor, and this is not the time to become complacent.

While our risk for many diseases cannot be completely eliminated, it can be greatly reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle, a lifestyle that requires us to assume responsibility for our choices. Education is the key to making those choices.

I am grateful to visionary men like this publisher, Reid Boyer, who see the value in providing a platform for health education. Options are good. Having the freedom to choose what we believe to be best for us and our families offers the best hope for health and healing. For ourselves, for our families and communities, and for our planet.

To a healthy future,

Elisa Smith

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