THE BUZZ: On Saturday, April 28th, 2012, I participated in The 1st Annual Holistic Wellness Expo presented by The City College of New York Continuing and Professional Studies in partnership with The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce Harlem Healthy Eating & Healthy Living Initiative. It was held at The Great Hall of Shepard Hall, and was a tremendous success with over 700 visitors and over 40 vendors. The vendors and panelists represented at least 10 modalities from acupuncture and chiropractic care to homeopathy and naturopathy. Councilwoman Inez E. Dickens presented a proclamation declaring the last Saturday in April “Wellness Day.”
I moderated the opening Expert Panel which set the tone for the day. I was joined by Dr. Jeff Gardere, Ph.D. (Psychologist), Jeanne Ricks, CHC, AADP (Holistic Health Practitioner), Dumisani Kambi-Shamba, L.A.c. (Licensed Acupuncturist), Julia Bennett, L.A.c. (Licensed Acupuncturist, MS in Advanced Herbal Studies) and Pierre Fontaine, RSHom, CCH (Homeopath). In addition to discussing the major modalities represented, we covered topics such as “What is holistic wellness/integrative medicine?” and “How do you choose a qualified practitioner?”
The Mind/Body Panel was part discussion and part demonstration. The audience got a taste of alternate nostril breathing from yoga teacher Ghylian Bell, Tai Chi from Master Abdul Musawwir, movements to ease back tension from chiropractor Dr. Peter Morgan and a closing meditation from Ki Energy Specialist Laura Abadsantos-Rogers. Other experts included Michele Risa, Antonia Martinez, Dr. Cheryl Ann Delbridge, Dr. Doug Weston and Darmone Holland. I had a blast co-moderating it with Dr. Gardere.
Finally, I had the pleasure of doing a one-on-one interview with Dr. Kamau Kokayi who has 27 years of experience in integrating allopathic medicine with bioenergetic therapies and traditional healing systems. He is a MD from Yale and is additionally certified in acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, applied kinesiology and homeopathy. I had been a frequent guest on the radio talk show he created and hosted for eight years at WBAI, the Global Medicine Review.
The visionary behind the event was Sharon Mackey-McGee, Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Studies at City College whose goal was to “provide the best instructors with the best advice”. She certainly accomplished that and I think we’re all looking forward to next year! We must also thank City College President Lisa S. Coico for her support. Many of the practitioners, including myself, will be offering courses for the Continuing and Professional Studies program.