By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

For over 30 years, Roy and Gwen Williams have been in the natural health industry, and their products and services have helped thousands of people. They have produced supplements, broadcasts, podcasts, newsletters, brochures, and back in the day, their cassette tapes could be found all over the Tennessee Valley. Today they have two stores -- one in Athens and one in Killen, as well as an online store that ships products to all 50 states and several countries.

Recently, Gwen texted me with an idea for an Athens Now front cover article, and she was bursting with an energy befitting of spring. What sets Herbs & More apart is not only the quality of their inventory and the friendliness of their staff, but the personal and technological services they provide for their clients. No one in the area has the BEMER mat, the infra-red sauna, the Whole Body Vibration machines, the ionic foot detox AND a massage therapist under one roof! We’ll talk about those below, but here is a great admonition Gwen shared with me from Dr. David Jeremiah that is the “why” behind the services available at Herbs & More, especially as they pertain to stress: “Life—You can wear it out, rust it out, or live it out.” Read on if you want to find out how to “live life out.”

We’ll start with massage. Anyone who has experienced an outstanding massage knows that this aspect of good self-care is possible because of an inexplicable blend of skill, training, experience, and intuition that are in the massage therapist’s “tool kit.” Jason Mitchell, who practices at Herbs & More as well as elsewhere in North Alabama, came into the massage world 16 years ago. At the time, he was in a lot of pain from sports and work-related injuries, and was getting chiropractic treatments which definitely helped. However, it was the combination of adjustments and massage that made the greatest difference. His chiropractor, Dr. Millar in Decatur, actually offered to pay Jason’s tuition to Massage Therapy Institute. At the time, Jason was a single dad with a one-year-old and living with his parents. He completed his schooling, started walking in his calling, and wanted to thank Dr. Millar for giving him his start. Jason also has a heart for special needs people, and has clients who are quadriplegic, have cerebral palsy, Downs Syndrome, and he is outstanding with children. He uses a blend of modalities, but somehow intuitively knows what approach to take with each client. “It can change every day, even with regular clients,” he said. “Often I use music, but not always. It just depends. I have seen people greatly reduce their level of stress, unwind, and sometimes release the effects of difficult situations,” he added. One such raving fan client of the massage, foot detox and BEMER services at Herbs & More is Jane Lassiter, who was present for the interview. About two years ago, Jane came in first for ionic foot detox treatments, then added regular massage, then the BEMER treatments. “I feel so much better since I started coming here,” she told me. “It’s not just the services, it’s the people—I respect them so much,” she said with gratitude.

Below are descriptions of the rest of the services available at Herbs & More:

The Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation Mat

Don’t be put off by something that perhaps sounds a bit like it is something from a Flash Gordon movie. The technology was developed in Germany in 1998 and is used throughout Europe by numerous doctors of various specialties, as well as by the Swiss Olympic Team. NASA is currently working on putting energy-field capabilities in the next generation of space suits for astronauts. Our bodies are wonderfully designed to emit and receive low-level electro-magnetic energy, as does the earth, and humans need exposure to the right kinds of that energy in order to help cells with circulation, absorption of nutrients, regeneration, and waste disposal. The BEMER mat helps with the production of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. ATP is a highly complex compound that provides energy for everything from muscle contraction to chemical synthesis. We mess up our levels of ATP through our diets, lifestyles, and overexposure to electronic devices. The Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation mat is used once or twice a day for only 8 minutes. You lay on it, and I can say from experience that I have become so quickly relaxed, that I fell asleep for a re-invigorating mini-power nap. Incidentally, this magnetic-energy-field technology is cleared for use by the FDA, and one of the things it is also used for is grief. People who have lost loved ones or have experienced trauma report feeling less “trashed” after a series of treatments, and when you combine services, the effects look to be quicker and deeper.

Whole Body Vibration Machines (WBV)

The WBV machines were developed for the purpose of restoring lost bone and muscle mass for cosmonauts and astronauts after long stints in space. They are also approved for use by the FDA. As is the case with the energy-field technology, the WBV devices first gained extensive exposure, refinement and acceptance in Europe, and then made their way here. Herbs & More has two machines, and I use them often. I always make sure I have a session after I have finish a 5K race, because the difference in post-race stiffness and soreness is huge. I also find that if I hop on the WBV for about 10 minutes in the late afternoon, I experience an energy boost. People like 71-year-old female pop artist Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac fame, as well as ageless supermodel Cindy Crawford, swear by it.

Infrared Sauna

This is one I have used for a long time in my own battle with Lyme’s disease, and quite frankly, doing this article is reminding me that I need to be more consistent with using all of the services at Herbs & More! According to the Mayo Clinic, “Several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefit.” Understandably cautious, the Mayo Clinic also said that more and larger population studies on Infrared saunas need to be conducted, and that no adverse effects have been reported.

“Happy Coffee,” or “Smart Coffee”

This is the newest product at Herbs & More, and has quickly become “all the rage,” in a positive way. The brand name is Elevate, and is a great-tasting micro-ground, functional coffee that contains a proprietary blend of nootropic ingredients designed to assist with mental clarity, memory, and energy. “Nootropics” is a general term for “stimulants,” either helpful or harmful. The nootropics in Elevate are all-natural amino acids typically found in protein-rich foods, but not always easy to get from diet alone. Nootropics are recognized for supporting cognitive function, memory, creativity, and even motivation in healthy individuals. Some people have found that it helps with their weight, but each person reacts differently. Bring in the coupon to Herbs & More to get a delicious free sample, and while you are there, look into adding their services to your health regimen. There’s still plenty of time to “spring into spring,” Herbs & More style!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

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