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Saturday, August 13, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesHealth Beat: TADA's Wellness Fair Draws Crowd

Health Beat: TADA's Wellness Fair Draws Crowd

Ella Barr, left, instructs a sushi student.Ella Barr, 9, manned her Sushi Barr at the Therapy Association and Disability Advocates’ fourth annual Wellness in the Sun Fair at Magens Bay.

Barr was kept busy instructing mostly other youngsters in the tricky art of rolling rice and vegetables on a bamboo mat into a seaweed roll and keeping it there long enough to slice.

While Barr, daughter of Michael and therapist Bonnie Barr, was doing a brisk sushi business, more than 200 folks poured into the gathering in search of healing practices – spiritual, mental and physical – to help them in dealing with day to day life.

Opportunities abounded – from the seductive intonations of Allan Buckingham as he led a Qigong group, to Zumba, a Latin inspired dance-fitness program, which could best be described as the direct opposite of Qigong, at least in terms of energy displays and backup sound

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Buckingham led a small group in soft, gentle movement. "Breathe," he instructed, "like an infant baby. Give three baby hugs." And they did.

Fellow Qigong practitioner Hariyah Dan Fodio said, "It’s a shift in energy. Most disease comes from blocked energy. Bathe yourself with energy," she said.

Ruth Baldwin, new to the experience, said, "It’s a new dynamic to get used to the movements. The breathing is so smooth and freeing, more spiritual than yoga."

Speaking Sunday, therapist Eileen Short, TADA president, was still amazed by the community’s response.

"People were introduced to new things, some they hadn’t even known existed. For instance, chiropractor Tammi Reeve introduced network spinal analysis, which touches mind, body and soul. People were looking for health, empowerment, for peace," Short said. "Unity in the community is the phrase that keeps going through my head. That’s really what it’s all about – people shared tents, shared tables, networking. That’s another beautiful aspect of the day."

A variety of massage therapies, yoga practices, and body-mind massage was offered at bargain prices, $5 for a ten minute session. Lucy Gunther and Stephanie and John Brown hardly had time to grab a breath as they hiked folks onto their magnetic massage tables, after a caution to remove jewelry (and pacemakers) for a brief, but invigorating few minutes on each side.

"There, now don’t you feel better?’ asked John Brown.

"Well, yes, more energetic," said one client.

"That’s the spirit," said Brown.

Gary Rosenthal, licenced massage therapist and counselor, had moved his tent away from the energy of the main shed, to a quiet repose at the other end of the action, where he offered a brief introduction to body-mind massage.

"We all have muscle memory, and mind memory," Rosenthal said, "recalling emotional pain that may still be there after years. I treat these memories, and train each person to treat himself, so they don’t have to keep coming back for years."

Rosenthal, an engaging therapist, says he uses a cutting edge technology, using tapping techniques, which he notes is "non-invasive."

More conventional therapies were represented in a tent next to Rosenthal’s, where the American Psychological Association was handing out refrigerator magnets carrying information about stress factors.

"Just to remind you," said psychologist Ann Barnard, with a smile. The magnets read, "exercise, relax, smile, take time to laugh, breathe," seeming superfluous in the instance.

Gemologist Ivanne Farr brought some of the wonders of her Rare Earth Studio, crystals, amber onyx and minerals of varying descriptions. Farr has created the Caribbean Islands Education Foundation, stemming from her passion to teach gemology to local youngsters.

"Some of these treasures were picked up by students on St. John," she said.

Then, there was the food, healthy and abundant. Benita and Jambie Samuel of Green Thumb Farms had bright green lettuces, and Jambie’s famous pumpkin soup. Wade of Organic West Farms had mango cornbread, kiwi cornbread, produce and a chlorophyl drink, which inspired Kate Rake, after taking a healthy swig, to comment, "I feel like I’ve been pollinated."

Short said this year’s raffle brought in $2,700, the most ever.

"The raffle is key," she said, "and we had great donations this year, massages, boat trips, even hotel stays."

The money is used for the V.I. Disability Fund, the association’s nonprofit group, which provides assistive technology and equipment for children and adults with disabilities, Short said.

TADA’s mission is to promote enlightened awareness and understanding of individuals with disabilities, provide them with services and therapy and advocate for their outreach. TADA comprises physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists.

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