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Give the gift of health for the holidays

Here is a holiday bouquet of ideas – from health gift certificates to books, videos, CDs and a share of the Wild Root Market co-op. They are ideal for one person or for families and keep on giving!

Are you looking for a meaningful Christmas gift?

Consider giving the gift of health, the kind of gift that truly keeps on giving.

Health insurance – even if people already have it – often doesn’t cover certain health practices that are considered “alternative” or the person may have a high deductible on his or her insurance coverage.

Here is a holiday bouquet of ideas – from health gift certificates to books, videos, CDs and a share of the Wild Root Market co-op. They are great for one person or for families.

Consider a certificate for a health service, such as acupuncture, energy work like Reiki, herbal consultation, massage therapy, midwifery and doula services, nutrition and health coaching, personal growth coaching, psychotherapy and more.

You can also find certificates for personal growth classes, wellness classes, yoga, Feldenkrais and tai chi classes, healthy cooking chef services and products from health and wellness shops. Some of my favorite referrals are Community Acupuncture, Innerbirth Midwifery, Roots and Legends, Sheepish, Lake House Health and Learning Center, Massage Pause, Partners In Health, Body Wellness and The Traveling Chef but there are many others. Find an even bigger range of services and products in your neighborhood at The Guide to Health, Wellness and Creative Living in Southeastern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois.

You can start by making sure that your giftee – the person who you want to give the gift to – enjoys or wants to try this kind of service or product.

You don’t have to be all secretive and sneaky. Just ask the person (or a person close to the person) if he or she would enjoy a certificate for a particular service or class – or a range of services and classes – and let them know that such a certificate will a pleasure to give. Even if you aren’t able to receive the certificate in time for Dec. 25, you can present a card or note letting him or her that the gift will arrive soon.

Better yet, you can add to the gift by volunteering to drive your person to the appointment – if transportation is a problem – or offer child care at that time.

A guided imagery download or CD has a myriad of health benefits. You can listen to and download some classic imagery selections for free here or go to Health Journeys, which sells a myriad of imageries for relaxation, high blood pressure, metabolism and other health concerns. Another favorite is Sounds True, which offers quality CDs and downloads on topics that relate to the intersection of health and spirituality.

A unique Racine idea is a gift share of Wild Root Market, the local cooperative effort that plans to open a full service grocery and market soon. Your giftee will be named a pioneering owner and receive several benefits of co-op ownership as well as bragging rights in supporting this community-owned grocery store committed to fresh quality food and improving the local economy.

If your giftee is a reader, consider new or used books about health, wellness, parenting and cooking. Look at your favorite local book store or at the new Anything’s Possible book and gift shop in downtown Racine which has a sizable stock of repurposed books on health and spirituality the last time we looked.

You can also find some great downloads of books to read on your computer, iPad or Kindle. One that I recently found and suggest is Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness. It’s free which makes it even better.

If your giftee does not have a library card, take a trip to to the Racine Public Library so he or she can get one – and take a walk to the second floor which has a great selection of health books along with videos, including exercise videos. Oh, yes, and the library card is free. You can also learn how to download e-books on your Nook reader in an upcoming class.

Remember that a stocking or bag of basic health care items that are always good to have on hand is another option. These items might include adhesive bandages, a thermometer, knee wraps, pain relief items like Biofreeze, vitamins and cold remedy and other  teas like Traditional Medicinals.

Do you have a favorite health gift? Let us know and add to the list!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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