HEALTH HISTORIAN Explains Trends for Expo Attendees

Linda Sechrist

As the senior staff writer and member of Natural Awakenings’ national editorial team, Linda Sechrist considers her 13-year career with the magazine a rare opportunity to exercise her creative talents and pursue her passion for educating readers on health and wellness.

"I was blessed to find a publication that fit me like a glove, one that allowed a childhood dream of writing to manifest and blossom," she says. "I’ve been graced with an avocation where my gifts are in perfect alignment with my life’s purpose. No journalist with an insatiable sense of curiosity could ask for more."

Fifteen years prior to joining Natural Awakenings, Sechrist began accumulating books by authors she thought of as personal mentors—Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Bernie Siegel, Wayne Dyer, Julia Cameron, Jean Houston, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Joseph Campbell, astronaut Edgar Mitchell and many others—never dreaming she would someday have one-on-one conversations with them. "Reading their books, interviewing them and writing articles based on our conversations has been surreal. Occasionally I’ve had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming," she says.

From the thousands of hours of research and interviews she has conducted with doctors and practitioners of natural medicine as well other experts in numerous fields, Sechrist has been able to observe grassroots movements as they grew into national trends.

"Before I did this work, I didn’t realize that trends start as ideas pursued by a person or a group of individuals. Following trends reminds me of watching children grow up. They are born, sit up, crawl and gain the strength and confidence to pull up to a standing position. Eventually they walk and run. Trends, like children, go through many phases before they reach maturity."

Following trends happened organically for Sechrist while she was researching themes for Natural Awakenings’ editorial calendar. "Annually, we revisit themes such as women’s and men’s health," she says. "Assignments on the same topics for several consecutive years led me to look for a fresh approach each time. I compiled research on various subjects, paying attention to what experts and authors were writing and what publishing houses were focusing on."

In the process, she’s become a sort of health historian, observing a modern evolution in medicine. "Two trends that have made my heart sing are the collaboration with an individual’s immune system to fight cancer and the evolution of medicine into its current status as functional medicine, aimed at addressing the root causes of health problems," she says.

Sechrist’s March 11 keynote presentation at the Emerald Coast Holistic Health Expo will focus on the 20 grassroots movements she’s followed and written about.

"I’m excited about my Ask the Docs interactive panel discussion with local physicians," she says. "I’m also thrilled to introduce Laurie McCammon, author of Enough! How to Liberate Yourself and Remake the World with Just One Word. Her book follows a theme I’ve written on for three consecutive December issues, Uplifting Humanity, which in my opinion the world now needs very much."

The Emerald Coast Holistic Health Expo will take place March 11-12, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Emerald Coast Convention Center, 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy. SE, Fort Walton Beach, and nearby Ross Marler Park. Linda Sechrist will deliver her keynote presentation, "Trends I’ve Seen and Friends I’ve Made from My Trusty Writing Chair," March 11, 11 a.m.-12 p.m., in room Palm II of the convention center. For more information, visit or contact Daralyn Chase at


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