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Survey shows local support for integrativ­e care

  In order to assess the state of integrative and mind-body medicine in the Asheville area, Xpress invited health care professionals in the Asheville area to participate in a survey about their approaches to treatment. Of fifty-one respondents, half were individual health care providers. Other respondents listed themselves as clinics or health centers, hospitals, or educational […]

What are the health insurance options for mind, body and spirit?

If you seek nontraditional health care, such as integrative or complementary approaches, does insurance cover it? Although the vast majority of such services are paid out of pocket, there are some exceptions and signs of change for the future. “I know that there is a trend in that direction, when you’re talking about integrative medicine […]

COMPLEMENTARY HEALING: More and patients look beyond traditional Western medicine or seek complementary care. Acupuncturist Nancy Hyton says that many patients have been referred by the doctors —  "People come to us because they've exhausted their conventional medical options or they've reached a plateau."

Local practition­ers explore medicine’s new frontier

Brian Lewis’ quest for a different kind of medicine began in medical school, where he received a grant to study healing methodologies from the Himalayas and Tibet. He later co-founded a student group on integrative medicine. Lewis, a physician at Integrative Family Medicine of Asheville, says he came to realize that “without treating the whole person, you [can] not do […]

(Photo by Emily Nichols)

Treating the whole person: integrativ­e medicine in the Asheville area

Holistic medicine aims to treat the whole person, not just diseases and their symptoms. There is a growing awareness among practitioners — both traditional and alternative — that healing can be brought about or accelerated by involving all aspects of a person — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. In back-to-back Wellness issues, Xpress looks at two different aspects of […]

HEALING SPACE: “The body follows the mind," says Linda Silwedel, a holistic resource nurse in the Mission Health's cancer program, of integrative approaches. Massage, for example, helps patients come "back to that nice, wonderful relaxed state, and that allows the body to heal more effectively and work with the cancer treatment plan so much better."  (Pictured: Silwedel and Kimberly Christenso; photo by Cindy Kunst)

Local providers increase use of nontraditi­onal treatments

In this town, if you haven’t had an acupuncture appointment, massage, energy-healing session or herbal consultation, it’s more than likely you know someone who has. Modalities that were once thought of as hokey, or at least incompatible with the Western medical model, are becoming less alternative and more mainstream — so much so that Mission Hospital, Park […]

HANDS OFF/ON: Therapeutic touch applies "the energy in our hands, minds and intentions to support healing," says Padma Dyvine, a nurse who uses the method. (photo by Emily Nichols)

Therapeuti­c touch offers an energy-based approach to mind-body healing

Touch has the power to heal, or at the very least to soothe us when we’re not feeling well. In Asheville, several practitioners apply this power, using a method of therapeutic touch created in the 1970s by Dora Kunz and Delores Krieger. “We are energy fields,” says Padma Dyvine, an Asheville-based practitioner for more than 20 years […]

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Contaminat­ed CTS site gets national attention with AP story

It’s a “nightmare scenario” for residents living near or on land associated with the former CTS site south of Asheville on Mills Gap Road, according to a Dec. 29 Associated Press story that ran in the Charlotte Observer (“An Old Plant, tainted Land, and Worried Homeowners”). The story takes particular aim at the developers who purchased the more […]

William Najger as Moses, hanging out at Vance Monument.

Moses: spreading love downtown this holiday season

William Najger is spreading his message this week in an unusual way: He’s dressed up as Moses and hanging out at the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville, channeling his inner McConaughey and telling people to just keep on L-I-V-I-N. The Asheville native said his Moses stunt started with him going to Hollywood in the past […]

GOOD STUFF: Molly Ferguson has a healthy drink with her lunch at the Verner Center for Early Learning. Photo courtesy of Verner Center for Early Learning

Rainbow Table: Healthy, hydrated holidays

Sugary beverages are everywhere and are connected to every season. Why is that such a big deal? According to The Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health’s resource for evidence-based diet and nutrition information, soft drink makers produce 10.4 billion gallons of sugary drinks each year. That is essentially one 12-ounce can for every American, every day of the year.

FORENSIC FOLKLORIST: "I'm excavating [folk] practices from older generations," says Byron Ballard, known as Asheville's village witch. Photo by Machaela Treadway

Byron Ballard keeps Appalachia­n folk magic practices alive

Known as Asheville’s village witch, Byron Ballard practices what she calls “hillfolk hoodoo,” a form of Appalachian folk magic. Ballard came by hoodoo naturally, growing up in a poor community in the mountains of Western North Carolina where hoodoo was practiced. She laments that the practice is disappearing: “Local hillfolk are no longer practicing hoodoo, […]

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Get outside for winter activities

Are you packing on those extra pounds after gorging on office holiday cookies and sugared paraphernalia? Are you spending your evenings hiding under your blankets and waiting for spring? Then you may be missing out on the great outdoor events Western North Carolina has to offer. We’ve rounded up some options for activities and great-outdoors clubs that will keep you moving well into the early […]

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Distant energy healing resonates in the Asheville area and beyond

Many practitioners of the healing energy arts — including reiki masters, sound healers and shamanic practitioners — say they can “send” healing energy to a client anywhere in the state, country or world. In fact, the nine practitioners interviewed by Xpress report sending out healing energy to such distant places as Kazakhstan, Syria, Russia, Japan, India, South Africa, Peru, Hong Kong and Singapore