New group hosts expo to highlight holistic health

Photos by Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Jacqueline Miller of Santa Claus, left, receives a traditional Chinese medicine pulse assessment from Sunshine Specialties Certified Authentic Touch Practitioner Lisa Yoder at the first holistic wellness expo at the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand on Sunday. The pulse assessment determines which bodily system needs nourishing. The event was organized by the Council for Holistic Awareness, which is a recently-formed grassroots organization that promotes holistic health choices.

By ALLEN LAMAN
alaman@dcherald.com

FERDINAND — Brenda Wilmes firmly pressed her knuckles into Sue Hasenour’s neck and rotated them in tiny circular motions as she traced down along her spine. Though the massage-like treatment relies on physical touch, Wilmes explained that her results manifest on a deep level.

The methodical procedure — known as a spinal flush — is said to have the power to unclog energetic blockages and lead to healing in the human body.

“It felt awesome,” said Hasenour, who works as a secretary in the emergency department at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center. She later voiced that “if we could all take care of ourselves in a holistic way, then there’d be less medical costs. Our bodies would be better off.”

Sunday afternoon, Wilmes and holistic health providers from across the area united at the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand for Dubois County’s first holistic wellness expo. The event was organized by the Council for Holistic Awareness, which is a recently-formed grassroots organization that promotes holistic health choices.

Hundreds of attendees poured into the Y’s gymnasium throughout the four-hour gathering to learn about local chiropractors, life coaches, organic food providers, crystal and oil merchants, as well as other holistic goods and services offered in the county. Educational discussions were held concurrently in nearby conference rooms.

Holistic wellness expo attendees explore the about 30 booths of local chiropractors, life coaches, organic food providers, crystal and oil merchants, as well as other holistic goods and services offered in the county at the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand on Sunday. Educational discussions and speakers were held concurrently in nearby conference rooms.

“The best case scenario is that people come in and have expanded their knowledge,” Denise Schnell, a council co-founder, said before the expo. “[Have] expanded their vision, and see that we can take control of our health [and] take care of ourselves in a natural way. And as we take care of ourselves, as we grow, as we allow our light to shine, it’ll shine out even broader into the community.”

The number of holistic health options in Dubois County has exploded in recent years. Desiree Yoder, co-founder of Sunshine Specialties in downtown Jasper, recalled how when her business launched in 1993, items like herbs and organic foods were commodities locally.

As she looked out from her booth at the bustling expo, she was surrounded by visitors who were genuinely interested in learning. About 30 other booths drew lines and crowds as guests inquired about their services.

“I think the most important thing it signifies is people want to take more responsibility for their own health,” Yoder said. “And not just wait until they get sick. They want to try to take care of themselves before they get sick.”
Many attendees and vendors agreed that they would like to see a world in which holistic practices and Western medicine work side by side — and not competitively.

“Let’s collaborate, let’s work together,” Schnell said. “To me, I feel like if I’m in a car accident, please take me to the emergency room [and] let them do their thing to help mend my body. But if I’m in need of surgery, and if it’s not pressing, then why not try some of these things first before you cut me open?”

Schnell hopes the expo will become an annual event, and she hopes the council could facilitate a retreat in the future. With profits generated from the expo, the group hopes to launch a website, further connecting residents to holistic practitioners.

The group can be found on Facebook here.

Nora Goins, 7, of Jasper, chooses a piece of malachite from the Soul Crystals booth at the holistic wellness expo at the Tri-County YMCA in Ferdinand on Sunday.



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