Health nuts found their haven at the third-annual “Wholistic Health and Wellness Fair,” held this weekend at Elting Memorial Library. Vendors offered complimentary massages, aura readings and other services. All proceeds from goods sold at the booths were donated to the library.
Wellness enthusiasts packed the 12 booths at the fair, which included Brooks Farms, Hudson Valley Backyard Farms, The Eastern Hypnosis Center, Earthgoods Market, Rising Spirit of Thunderheart, Roots and Wings, the Chaung Yen Monastery and Practicing Peace, a group that promotes non-violent communication.
22-year-old Lana Heintjes said her own positive experience from yoga made her want to share it with others. Heintjes had participated in a yoga program with her partner of three years.
“It completely changed my relationship,” she said.
Before the two practiced yoga, she said she felt anxious and tense around her partner. The program has taught her to respond calmly and rationally instead.
Heintjes now teaches this “mindful meditation” in a three-month program, “Partner Yoga, Thai Yoga Bodywork and Meditation.” The sessions are offered at her home, she said.
“It rewires your brain for love,” she said. “You notice when the other one is in pain. You massage each other.”
Heintjes said these yoga and meditation practices can help platonic friendships too. She said she now reacts to and resolves fights differently.
“It never would have happened without meditation,” she said.
Holistic health also changed Lorraine Hughes’s life. Hughes, a practicing herbalist, had her own health issues. After learning how her diet and health were intertwined, she realized the strong negative effects of the prescription drugs she was taking.
“I was a canary in a coal mine,” Hughes said. “I saw natural modalities as the way to go.”
Hughes has practiced herbology since 2005 and currently specializes in Chinese medicine. She attended the East West School of Herbology and makes her own teas and herbal remedies.
The teas she offered include ones that aid relaxation and multi-tasking.
“You have to help people help themselves,” Hughes said. “It’s not about the money. Teachers open the door, but you have to walk through the door yourself.”
Others discovered the joy of holistic health much earlier in life. Massage therapist and healer Christina Powers said she has loved giving massages since she was six years old.
Powers studied Native American Shamanism and both Eastern and European healing modalities as a teenager and then started with meditation.
“When you connect to a person, you listen to the person’s sorrows in their body that affect their mind. You’re giving them an opportunity to heal themselves,” Powers said. “As human beings, we are all healers.”