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Body, mind and soul: Wellness Expo offers treatments for all

SALISBURY — Body, mind, soul and surroundings: all have impacts on a person’s health.

This was the shared message of a group of health and wellness professionals Saturday who gathered in the Rowan Public Library’s Stanback Auditorium for the county’s first Wellness Expo. Representing more than 20 local businesses, they greeted a steady crowd from behind booths or beside massage chairs to answer questions about their alternative health care wares and services.

A little bit of everything was represented: massage therapists, yoga instructors, life coaches, mom groups, physical therapists, educators and more.

Some offered samples — sips of tea or juice — while others provided mini-sessions of their special techniques. The staff of Salisbury Therapeautic Massage offered deep-tissue massage; Accelerate Therapy and Performance, short sessions with a Class 4 laser.

For many of the professionals, their journeys into business began as they attempted to meet their own needs.

Ashley Honeycutt, of Salisbury’s Juice Life, said the idea to open her Jake Alexander Boulevard store came from struggling to find healthy, sweet-treat options for her grandson.

“We would be out and he would want a smoothie or an Icee and … I would think, ‘Ugh, he’s going to be hyper because of all that sugar and artificial ingredients,'” she said.

Honeycutt opened her juice bar as a means to help Salisbury “do better” and “be healthier,” she said.

Michele Sloop, with Live Well Massage and Wellness Studio in Rockwell, shared her story of working as a dental assistant for more than a decade. When massage therapy helped her with her own postural problems that came with her job, she decided to pursue the career change to help others in a similar fashion.

She now offers ashiatsu massage from her East Main Street studio: a deep tissue massage administered by the soles of the feet.

Others in attendance found interest in alternative medicine. Candice Casasanta of Little Moon Botanicals has studied herbalism for three years. She now makes teas, salves, balms, body oils and lotions — each with a blend of natural ingredients to meet specific needs.

Aruna Patki of Ayurveda Healing Spa in Concord spoke about the Ayurveda system of medicine, what she called major science in India.

“This science is like a miniature of nature,” she said. “Whatever happens outside impacts the inside of the body.”

She works with each patient one-on-one to identify the outside impacts: sleep, diet, exercise and social habits.

“It’s all about balancing the mind, body and soul,” she said.

For most practitioners, this individualization of their holistic practices is key. Beatrice Hair, a one-on-one “food tutor” and author of “Body Wisdom: Natural Health in You,” explained.

“Everybody is different. The way you need to eat is different from the way I need to eat,” Hair said. “… But it’s not just food. … You also need to get the emotional state right, get your head on straight, the right workout and eliminate chemicals.”

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