GIVING THANKS: Rabbi Justin Goldstein of Beth Israel Congregation in Asheville says gratitude is the foundation of the Jewish tradition, which celebrates the miracle of     oil staying lit for eight days during Hanukkah. Photo by Amanda Schwengel

The best holiday gift for lifting spirits, wellness

In the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the pressures of gift buying, parties and family gatherings yet forget about that old Thanksgiving stalwart — gratitude. But thankfulness may be the best gift you can give yourself and others this time of year. “The holidays can be a really challenging time,” says Asheville psychologist Deborah Barnett. […]

MAKING HEALTH HAPPEN: Peggy and Stephen McConnell of Mars Hill attended the Living Healthy workshop. Photo by Robert Moore

Land of Sky’s Living Healthy program offers path to better living

For Western North Carolina residents with chronic health problems, help is nearby. Mars Hill resident Peggy McConnell has several chronic conditions, including atrial fibrillation, which wakes her up in the  night. Although she is receiving regular medical care, last May, McConnell decided to get extra help: She enrolled in Living Healthy, a six-week workshop sponsored by the Land of Sky Regional Council, a multicounty agency […]

Dewy is a big sweet lug, an 85-pound Labrador retriever-mastiff mix whose biggest problem appears to be fitting under restaurant tables.

Four-legged therapy: Service dogs create small daily miracles

When Kim Brophey was a kid, she was fascinated by Lassie, the collie who wowed TV audiences for decades with her intelligence and heroic rescues. These days Brophey, who owns The Dog Door, is bringing that kind of doggy derring-do to Asheville, training service animals to help people with disabilities and consulting with clients about dogs with behavioral challenges.

GOOD STEPS: Danny and Katherine Dreyer founded ChiWalking/Running, an Asheville-based, international movement that helps runners and walkers apply mindfulness approaches and science to their practice. Photo courtesy of ChiRunning

Global ChiRunning springs forth from Asheville headquarte­rs

The world headquarters for ChiWalking/Running occupy a quaint two-story house adjacent to Interstate 240 in downtown Asheville. “People think we’re a $5 million or $10 million business. We’ve had people come from other countries and they’re like, ‘This is it?’” says Katherine Dreyer, co-founder and CEO of ChiRunning. Danny Dreyer, her husband and ChiRunning co-founder […]