Debra Yaw on guiding health journeys
Wilmington’s new health store, Healing Leaves, is the embodiment of DEBRA YAW’s desire to help others improve their health in their own way and at their own pace. The store offers holistic therapies; a wide range of teas, supplements, and natural products; and classes.
“I want Healing Leaves to be a place that people can come to if they have questions and learn how to improve their health,” Yaw says. “I want to help them on their journey to good health.”
Yaw’s interest in alternative health grew into a passion when traditional medicine failed to cure her digestive issues and rheumatoid arthritis. By researching nutrition and other health options, Yaw learned to successfully manage her health without drugs. Soon friends and family were turning to her to help them solve their health issues.
Yaw decided to turn her passion into a new career and earned her specialist in fitness education and nutritional therapy practitioner certifications. She then worked as a nutritionist with Wilmington Functional Medicine.
Recently, Yaw felt the need to do more, to provide one place where customers could get information, therapies, and products to improve their health, and Healing Leaves was born.
Nutritional counseling, which is a cornerstone of Healing Leaves’ therapies, is given on an individual and class basis.
“While a doctor might give a customer an overall idea of how to change their diet, we’ll help them take it step-by-step,” Yaw says. “If their blood sugar is too high or their vitamin D is too low, we can give customers advice and help them with supplements.”
Other Healing Leaves therapies include massage, foot baths, and thermography; a touch-free, non-invasive breast imaging service that can be used as an adjunct to mammograms or ultrasound for early detection of abnormalities done by SHELLY LAINE, a certified clinical thermographer.
Customers can also pick up fresh, healthy meals prepared by Green, Lean and Clean at the store located at 1015 S. Kerr Ave.
Healing Leaves’ product line includes a wide array of healing teas, supplements, and personal care products such as deodorants without aluminum and natural soaps and cleaners.
Yaw says she thoroughly researches all the products she carries, and she has tried many of them herself. A number of Healing Leaves’ products are produced in the area, and Yaw hopes to work with more local producers of natural products in the future.
The third service Healing Leaves offers, and one that is especially important to Yaw, is education classes. In February, Healing Leaves will start an autoimmune disease support group where customers can share experiences and successful strategies as well as learn about practices that can improve their conditions.
Topics include, among others, foods that reduce inflammation and exercises that won’t overly tax the body. Other upcoming classes will provide information on thermography, essential oils, and how to make volcanic bracelets.
Yaw’s mission is to help people take charge of their own health, and through Healing Leaves she hopes to fulfill that goal.
“I encourage people to be their own health advocates and do what is right for them in whatever stage of the journey they are in,” she says. “They should not be defined by the title or diagnosis of a disease or ailment.”
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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