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Good food, happy people, healthy living. Too good to miss — next time.

Perhaps we are sometimes spooked by words like “mind-body,” “self-awareness,” “integrative,” "meditation,” "biofeedback,” “guided imagery” and more.

But growing numbers of top medical schools and international experts aren’t anymore.

And Mississippians ought not be either.

That’s the beauty of the Eat Move Relax health and wellness fair, held last week in Jackson.

Top local and national professionals explained in layman’s terms such seemingly “mysterious” concepts and practices. At this event, such experts don't force anything down Mississippians’ mouths. If you don’t hanker to something, you just check it off your list of healthy-living options.

The fact remains that new therapies, strategies and approaches are here to stay because they work. Medical schools are scrambling to include them in educational offerings.

No less than the esteemed Georgetown University Medical School now has a “mind-body” tract for healthy living.

Georgetown’s literature states: “Mind-body approaches — including self-awareness, relaxation, meditation, guided imagery, biofeedback, physical exercise, art, music and movement — are among the best known and most widely used of the complementary, alternative or integrative approaches to healthcare.”

The literature continues: “Mind-body approaches are particularly important in another way. By their very nature they put high value on, and teach the power of self-awareness and self-care. In so doing, they help shape the new integrative model of healthcare.”

At Eat Move Relax, top experts gathered in unprecedented numbers so far as our state is concerned.

“We want to empower our citizens to take care of themselves and to make excellent decisions about their bodies and wellness in their minds, bodies and spirits,” explains Suzie Foote, RN, CHTP, and organizer of the event, now in its third year.

Locally-based Kelly Engelmann treats a growing array of folks from all walks of like. “I am a family nurse practitioner, founder of Enhanced Wellness Living with extensive training in Functional and Lifestyle Medicine, but more than that I have a huge passion for educating my patients on how much control they have on their health and wellbeing and the health of their families.”

Engelmann is a big fan of Eat Move Relax. “The group is confirmation that Mississippi is on move to get healthy. It takes a team approach and I am blessed to provide care in this community!”

At the health fair, “traditional” medical experts stood alongside professionals from emerging fields. More conventional presenters included,

  • Rocky Crocker, MD, from the Arizona Center for Integrative Health

  • Martha Rosado, MS, LPC, NCC, who offers specialized stress-reduction therapy

  • Sandi Herring, RDN and LD (a registered dietitian and nutritionist) with St. Dominic’s Ornish Lifestyle Medicine.

Experts from emerging fields included,

  • Engelmann, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center; The Fellowship in Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine; and the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners

  • Foote, RN, BSN, BA, CHTP, who holds a nursing degree from Emory University, is a seasoned holistic nurse and is a certified health touch practitioner

  • Dr. Addie H. Stanford, a fully licensed, credentialed and board certified Chiropractor.

Other fields to explore included,

  • Healing touch. Present was expert Mary Frost, RN, MS, who teaches medical school classes on this practice, which professional literature increasingly affirms.

  • Organic- and healthy-eating practitioners. The fair brought in experts including nutritionist and chef Joe Moorefield; a Brandon-based micro-grain farmer; a Collins-based naturally-fed beef cattle rancher; and locally known Jeff Good, restaurateur of Bravo!, Sal and Mookie’s and Broad Street Bakery and Cafe. Good spearheads UP IN FARMS FOOD HUB that brokers contracts for dozens of small and medium-sized family farms with area supermarkets and restaurants to offer fresh food to locals.

Eat Move Relax will be throttling up publicity in 2018. Mississippi Matters will give you a heads up. And here’s hoping next year when Eat Move Relax comes around, thousands come to visit with such approachable experts who clearly care.

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