By Richard S. Gubbe
Finding answers to your health problems can be elusive. Last Saturday, July 9, between 450 and 500 area residents found answers from more than 55 vendors at the REI Health Fair & Expo.
The annual event drew slightly more than the year prior, perhaps proving that fairs such as this are providing necessary information to assist in problems as well as supplying a platform for preventive medicine. Healthy people only need care in trauma situations. Healthy people lead healthy lifestyles and take the steps they need to build a balanced life by using both Eastern and Western tools.
Reiki Energy International, the host of the event, provided 98 Reiki treatments to people, most of whom had never experienced energy healing. A dozen other body workers were there providing cranial sacro, reflexology, acupressure and massage treatments to scores of others who experienced immediate relief.
With the economy in an unhealthy state, the majority of businesses formed now are small businesses, many with a web-based focus. Reaching people face-to-face is still the best way to connect. Providing the opportunity to see, feel, smell and taste the product remains the best way to sell.
Let’s not forget the positive impact a health fair can have by increasing tourism dollars from vendors and attendees who traveled to the Clock Tower from within the region. The event was free, and the nonprofit group REI seeks only a break-even result to keep vendor fees low.
The success of this event took the efforts of a group of dedicated people on many levels. One of the goals in the REI mission statement is to provide community awareness of Reiki energy healing. Many more people are now aware of Reiki, and more are aware of alternative and complementary methods of therapies and products located nearby. Supplements, healthy energy drinks, foods, Chinese herbs, organic gardening tips, skin products, weight-loss products, exercise regimens, counseling services, community service agencies and other vital initiatives were all presented at the fair.
A decade ago, much of this info was unavailable, hard to find, secret or unattainable. Now, research supports complementary offerings, and there are plenty of testimonials.
Chicago firefighter Matt Drew spoke to a gathering about how Reiki, hard work and determination overcame being a paraplegic after being injured in a fire. He’s back at work downtown as a hazmat specialist guiding against terrorism.
Dr. Arthur Shattuck, an herb expert, also spoke at another of the health fair’s free seminars. Dr. Shattuck, from Roots and Legends in Racine, Wis., will speak again Saturday, July 16, at Rock Valley College in a seminar of “Japanese Foods That Heal” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Then, there were sponsors who see the value in this type of community event, gallantly led by The Rock River Times with a big assist from WNTA Radio and Maverick Media. Businesses such as Nutrition Works and Beth Ann Weis Salon see the need to reach out to new customers while helping to build a healthier community.
The next and only other fair locally of this magnitude is the Janet Wattles Mental Health Fair at CherryVale Mall the first Saturday in October.
Answers are out there, just keep looking.
Richard Gubbe is an award-winning journalist, public relations specialist and Reiki Master Teacher. He is a long-time Rockford resident who has taught preventive health, visualization and Reiki at Rock Valley College since 2003.
From the July 13-19, 2011 issue