Vendors at Cape fair take alternative approaches to health

Sunday, July 11, 2010
Don Miles, a massage therapist at Fitness Plus, rakes the aura of Kathy Jameson during a session Saturday at the fifth annual Mother Earth Wholistic Fair at the VFW hall in Cape Girardeau. Local and regional vendors offered an array of natural products and services. (Kristin Eberts)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to reflect accurate information about hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

Vendors at the fifth annual Mother Earth Wholistic Health Fair on Saturday offered alternate approaches to caring for the human body.

"Who were the healers before we had Walgreens? It was the moms and grandmothers who knew the healing gifts in herbs," said Joleene Unnerstall, a master herbalist at AAA Women Works Inc. of Washington, Mo.

Unnerstall, with her herbal remedies for chapped lips, muscle aches, clogged sinuses and other ailments, was one of 36 vendors at the health fair held in the VFW hall in Cape Girardeau.

Other natural products available included emu oil and goat milk soaps; crystals and stones; and clothing made from alpaca wool.

"I'm all about the natural," said Connie Blechle of Breezy Ridge Alpacas in Brewer, Mo. "You can use everything from an alpaca, from their manure to their fiber."

Information was also available about yoga classes and feng shui, the Chinese practice of balancing energy in one's environment.

Demonstrations of hypnosis to reflexology and massage took place throughout the day.

Tim Morgan, a certified hypnotherapist for 18 years, said his therapies can retrain the brain to help people quit smoking, lose weight and overcome anxiety disorders.

"People think they lose control when they're hypnotized," Morgan said. "You don't lose control; you actually gain more control over your behaviors."

He also offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy at his Kelso, Mo., hypnotherapy center. Patients lay in an enclosed chamber and breathe 27 percent oxygen, much higher than the levels in ambient air, to improve various medical conditions, Morgan said.

Wholistic Health Fair organizer M.J. Myers of Perryville, Mo., said she considers this event her gift to the community.

"It empowers people to take ownership of their health at all levels. By putting all this under one roof people can come experience different techniques and find out what works for them."

Dr. Joy LeDoux-Johnson of Cape Primary Care said it's important that people talk to their doctor before trying alternative therapies like those showcased at the Wholistic Health Fair.

"Taking herbal supplements could interfere with other medications they've been prescribed, making it a risky therapy," she said.

A doctor can also evaluate whether an alternative therapy would put someone at an increased risk of health problems. For example, a person with a pacemaker should not do magnet therapy, because magnets could interfere with pacemaker operation, she said.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent Address:

1049 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau MO

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