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The Art of Healing 

Finding comfort in creativity

Natural medicine is well known for its emphasis on the mind-body connection, but local naturopath and founder/director of Hawthorn Healing Arts Center Joshua Phillips, ND, incorporates a third element—the creative spirit.

"While all of us naturopaths are quite good at helping folks figure out how diet, lifestyle, and other physiological issues are contributing to their health concerns, I have a particular interest in how the arts, creativity and inspiration contribute to our health and well being," Phillips says.

Phillips attributes his interest in natural healing to seeing family and friends struggle with both illnesses and their remedies. Witnessing the ways in which his family members were not well served by medicine inspired him to find better solutions.

"The nature of the journey between health and illness, and all of the shades of gray in between have always fascinated me," Phillips says. "The possibility in combining an analytical approach with a creative, holistic approach to healthcare was intriguing to me."

At Hawthorn Healing Arts Center, staff offer provider-directed care including naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Chinese medicine, craniosacral and physical therapy, massage therapy, and reflexology and energy medicine. But the center also empowers individuals to take charge of their own healing.

"In the spirit of creativity and self-care, we offer a lot of classes and community events at our center, including a weekly Qi Gong movement program, and a meditation class, and are also a venue for local artists and musicians to share their work," Phillips explains. A lifelong musician, he encourages patients to explore. "I love to work with patients on how they might stretch themselves and engage in activities that inspire them and bring a new sense of purpose and excitement to their lives. In my experience, this almost always means happier and healthier people."

Following that inspiration is part of what led Phillips and his family to Bend. While attending the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, he made occasional ski trips to Mt. Bachelor and after graduating in 2003, decided to settle down here.

"My wife and I did a few exploratory trips around the Northwest and West Coast, and finally decided the outdoors oriented lifestyle and community of Bend was the perfect place to start a business and raise our kids," Phillips says.

As winter approaches, Phillips offers tips on staying physically—and emotionally—well.

"From an internal medicine perspective, taking vitamin D, a good probiotic, and an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement can go a long way for supporting the immune system and staying healthy," Phillips says. "From a broader perspective...staying physically active, being with the ones you love and laughing a lot, while challenging oneself to some form of creativity and inspiration, is a recipe for real wellness."

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