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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Letter from Publisher: What’s at the Intersection of Men’s Wellness

May 28, 2021 08:30AM ● By Bernice Butler
As we celebrate Father’s Day this month, we are called to remember the many uncelebrated roles and responsibilities fathers have in our lives and today’s society. “Father” is not a one-size-fits-all job. In fact, inherent in its creation is fathers’ ability to exercise their God-given roles and responsibilities for and on behalf of those that are not their biological children. Fathers are required for bringing children into this world—as we see all through our instruction manual, the Bible, starting in the book of Genesis, with the genealogies’ repeated phrasing about who “fathered” whom. Further confirming the preeminence of fathers in our world, our instruction manual specifically tells us to refer, call upon and pray to “our Father in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9). This same section of the manual outlines the obligations of providers: leadership and compassion. And then there’s the moniker Father Time—again attesting to the preeminence of fathers, as we choose to personify our greatest asset with their term of reference.

So having said all this, I’m wondering how it happened that so many men—with all their important roles and responsibilities, and with the reverence society has for fathers, and with so many families depending on them—apparently have decided that they are not supposed to exert any effort on self-care and their health. As Ronica O’Hara discusses in “Integrative Health for Men,” men eat worse, smoke more, drink harder, exercise less and suffer more injuries than women—and live, on average, five years fewer. The most eye-popping statistic she cites is that 37 percent of men admit they’ve withheld information from their doctor to avoid hearing a bad diagnosis. But she also reports some good news: This macho-man attitude is ebbing with millennials.

I’m seeing this trend, too. Over the last few years, the online readership for Natural Awakenings Dallas-Fort Worth edition has grown to a little more than half males under 40. This is an exciting movement and it’s great to be a part of it. Every month, and especially in June, we aim to bring practical, easy-to-digest, cutting-edge, timely information on integrative health and wellness to our male readers—encouraging and empowering them to attend to their own minds, bodies and spirits, with a focus on prevention. We fortify this encouragement this month with our Men’s Wellness roundup, where we talk to two of North Texas’ favorite integrative and holistic docs, Dr. Jerron Hill and Dr. Jeff Davies, both of whom emphasize stress reduction and preventive care for men.

We also see this trend at Healthy Living Healthy Planet Radio as more millennial men are taking ownership and leadership on the ground, joining women in doing the difficult, day-to-day work to help save our planet.

One area where we see men excelling in saving the planet—albeit a traditional area of interest for them—is with cars. While statistics show that while women buy 62 percent of all cars, men are overwhelmingly the main buyers of electric vehicles, with women only at about 27 percent.  Some say this is because EVs are marketed more to men, but men are also great advocates for them, as well as their buyers and drivers. Regardless, this is a good thing to celebrate on Father’s Day. As more fathers lean into their leadership role in saving the planet, let’s encourage them to show the same commitment to saving their heath by practicing wellness. We hope you will find much in this month’s issue to show the fathers in your life and empower them (and you!) to live a healthy life on a healthy planet.

Blessings until next month.

Bernice Butler, Publisher