Jan 292008
Authors: Shayna Grajo

Students and community members united with holistic wellness advocates of Northern Colorado to learn and promote alternative health resources at the fourth-annual Mind Body Fair Tuesday in the Lory Student Center.

Those involved were pleased with this year’s turnout compared to previous fairs, noting that the CSU Wellness Cluster collaboration was successful in increasing campus and community appreciation of mind-body practices.

“I think it was an incredible gift for CSU to give to the community,” said Ronda McMaster, a member of the Fort Collins Healing Gardens Health Center.

The fair provided a welcoming environment, McMaster said, for individuals unfamiliar with the concepts of mind-body practices and those experienced in the field.

Students and health educators attended 15 workshops that discussed topics ranging from acupuncture to nutrition. The workshop “The Low-Stress Diet”, presented by keynote speaker Brian Luke Seaward, addressed stress-provoking foods.

He cautioned the consumption of refined sugar, processed flour and caffeine among other foods.

“It was informative, and it makes me think about what I’m ingesting,” said Alexa Rempis, a junior sociology major. “I don’t think I can ever eat the food on campus again.”

In the Main Ballroom, students could explore a wellness marketplace offering various treatments and resources.

Booths provided “vibrational energy” healing sessions, Reiki work, anxiety assessments and chair massages, among other activities, to the steady stream of attendees.

Amber Schroeder of the Arbonne International skincare line said she appreciated the opportunity to connect with open-minded health enthusiasts.

“The people who are here are here because they want to learn about health alternatives,” Schroeder said. “I’ve gotten a chance to educate a lot of people.”

A switch in venue location from the recreation center to the Lory Student Center boosted overall participation, said Erika Ontl, a Nia instructor for the CSU Recreation Center.

“It has really opened up and it gives a much more polished and organized feel,” Ontl said.

Other recreation center representatives agreed that this year’s fair had seen a bigger impact on the campus.

“We’re really reaching a lot more community members than I anticipated,” said Sara Elger, a senior nutrition and fitness major and Mind Body fair worker.

Vendor fair participants viewed and applauded performances by Tai Chi demonstrators, a belly dancing troupe and the African drumming group “Fale.”

The fair concluded with a keynote address presented by former White House stress management coach Brian Luke Seaward, who tied together prevailing mind-body notions and concepts.

Seaward said spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health segments are all connected, and encouraged students to maintain fulfilling interpersonal relationships while making time for quiet introspection and self-contemplation.

Staff writer Shayna Grajo can be reached at news@collegian.com

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