Natural Health Care Approaches in the Upstate
by Roberta Bolduc
The Upstate is home to a growing number of natural health practitioners and holistic industries that reflect the current tide of renewed interest in the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Food has been called the “magic bullet” in dissipating chronic ailments and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Harriet Belue, co-owner of Belue Farms Natural Market in Boiling Springs, says she was “saved by food”.
“At the age of 27, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder that causes the body to attack its own tissue and joints.” For 10 years, Belue took an array of anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics to help with digestive distress, sinus infections, and throat and mouth ulcers that are common to RA.
Recognizing the need to reclaim her health and concerned about the side effects of the drugs she was using, Belue sought out chiropractic care and massage to counter inflammation. She discovered that homeopathy, flower essences, journaling and meditation relieved her symptoms and emotional stress. She also changed her diet. “Omitting gluten made a huge difference,” says Belue. Switching to raw milk caused her dairy intolerance to disappear. Gradually she stopped all prescriptions drugs. Her journey taught her that food has the power to heal and is always best in its natural form— without processing.
Today, the products sold at Belue Farms Natural Market match those in her diet—free of additives, preservatives, soy and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as antibiotic- and hormone-free meats, and organic and local produce and supplements.
Chiropractic Doctor George Auger, of Auger Family Chiropractic, says that his goal is to remove any interference to transmission of vital messages over the nerve system.
“The spinal alignments and function can be compromised and alter the ability of the brain to freely communicate with the body,” he reports. While this can result in symptoms like lower back pain, neck pain and headaches, Auger explains that “the huge underlying concern is that the communication between the body and brain has been compromised.”
Dr. Auger emphasizes that when you have clear communication restored, not only will the pain go away, but “blood pressure is better controlled by the brain, hormonal balance is better regulated and immune function is improved,” and that overall body functions are improved as well. The body is then able “to do what it was designed to do—function optimally.”
June Ellen Bradley is an herbalist and naturalist. She and Olga Cotter (owner of Mushroom Mountain in Easley) recently started a school in the Upstate called the Wild Coyote School of Wonder.
Bradley affirms that it is natural for the body to heal. “There is a whole circle of healing instruments, right at our fingertips, to help us remain healthy. There are many plants and herbs that work for colds, flu, to stop bleeding, heal bee stings, reduce inflammation and relieve eczema, just to name a few,” notes Bradley. Many of these can be found in our own backyard. “Some are plants we currently think of as weeds,” Bradley reflects.
Bradley says that the term “natural resources” describes what our ancestors once considered “our relatives”. Her extensive experience in using the natural world for healing has taught her that we can find such healing by “reconnecting with nature, the planet, and nature’s healing properties that are part of our birthright.”
Shelly Smith, the owner of Nature’s Way Home, is a licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist. Smith, who specializes in a body-centered approach to emotional healing and stress relief, conducts most of her sessions outdoors, on her 30-acre property in Pickens County.
“The body is the doorway to the unconscious mind, which holds the negative emotions, beliefs, and thought patterns that impact our health. When we can connect with the negative energies we’re holding in the bodymind (the unconscious mind) we can learn how to release and be free of them.”
Smith begins all “releasing” sessions with a process called grounding. As reported in last month’s article entitled Touching the Earth, recent research published in the Journal of Inflammation, Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, Neonatology and Health indicates that grounding stabilizes the physiology in many ways; drains the body of inflammation, pain and stress; and generates greater well-being.
The information above is a sampling of the beneficial natural health resources that are available in the Upstate without side effects or invasive procedures. Check the Community Resource Guide listings at the back of this issue for more information on providers of natural health care in the Upstate.
Belue Farms Natural Market is located at 3769 Parris Bridge Rd., Boiling Springs. Auger Family Chiropractic is located at 1315 Haywood Rd., Greenville. June Ellen Bradley can be reached at 828-899-2787 or email JE.Bradley@WholeHealthNation.com. Nature’s Way Home is located in Pickens. To read last month’s article referenced above, visit UpstateNA.com/Touching-the-Earth.