The south is the birth place of sweet tea and home to a lot of the foods doctors advise people to limit after a certain age.
When people look at maps for conditions like diabetes, this Southeastern state is often in the red for its high number of cases. So on paper Charleston, South Carolina wouldn't sound like much of a health and wellness area.
But it kind of is.
Charleston has countless options for people who want to prioritize their health. There are a four major health systems in the city's region: Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Trident Health, the East Cooper Medical Center and the Medical University of South Carolina.
Those institutions are filled with novel research opportunities that tend to keep the Charleston community in the know about medical developments.
In my time covering health in the city, I found that the medical expertise is extensive. Medical professionals like orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians, cancer researchers, psychiatrists, neurologists and OB/GYNs can be found throughout the area.
So getting a second opinion isn't a difficult task. Now whether everyone in the city takes advantage of these resources or lives the healthiest life is another story.
But health information is readily available. This has been incredibly valuable throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Health practitioners have made adjustments to accommodate more virtual visits.
Mental health departments with the MUSC and Roper St. Francis have also made adjustments to provide therapy to patients remotely.
The options don't end at medical opportunities. There are also countless gyms throughout the city. Many have made changes to attempt to ensure the visitors health and safety.
The downtown area alone has a number of studios that offer yoga courses, pure barre training, cross fit and pilates. Transformation Yoga is an organization with the mission of bringing yoga to marginalized and underserved communities.
Residents even have the option of purchasing and donating a class to someone. They've opted to add additional online classes to help with the pandemic.
If people are into more alternative forms of health, there are options for that too.
Reiki is extremely popular in the Charleston area. It's a Japanese health technique that involves a practitioner channeling energy through a person to help with stress and the natural healing process.
Though I haven't tried it myself, I did get to witness a session of it. It's peaceful and countless people vouch for its effectiveness.
Many of the reiki studios in Charleston offer courses to teach new practitioners. Prior to the pandemic, MUSC was offering reiki as an additional therapeutic option for their palliative care patients.
There are also plenty of options for natural health supplies. Over the years products with CBD, or cannabidiol, have become extremely popular in the area. Many use CBD products to help with anxiety, stress and pain relief.
Countless Charleston stores sell CBD products. Holy City Health sells in the city's downtown area sells CBD products for pets, vapes and topical needs.
So whether a person is coming here for severe medical conditions, or if they're looking for natural health alternatives, Charleston has an option. They may have to get through all of the delicious food first.