Wellness festival gathers city's healing arts under one roof

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A weekend wellness fair that brings together a wide variety of healing arts aims to balance the body, mind and spirit of every person who walks through the door.

"It's really diverse what we have going on," said Elizabeth Beeds, co-organizer of the Interior Wellness Festival taking place Friday to Sunday at Let's Move Studio on McGill Place.

"We've actually had to squeeze people's times down for their workshops because there are so many of them."

This is the second year of the festival, which offers participants a chance to sample various alternative healing methods through workshops and one-on-one sessions. Health, wellness, spirituality, nutrition, yoga meditation, personal growth and transformation - it will all be there for the sampling.

Last year, the festival attracted more than 500 people, many of whom paid repeated visits to throughout the weekend.

"It was amazing. We got such a huge response last year, it was incredible," said Beeds.

It may be surprising to hear that Kamloops has such a demand for alternative healing. Beeds says what used to be an underground movement has sprouted in recent years into a thriving community, offering everything from auriculotheraphy (ear acupuncture) to responance repatterning (the clearing of subconscious thought patterns).

"I grew up here and, even as a teenager, was looking for things that were about alternative health and wellness and spirituality and there was not much to speak of," said Beeds.

But now, one only needs to glance at the five-page directory of practitioners who are listed in Beeds' Interior Wellness Magazine.

Kamloops is home to full-time healers in reflexology, hypnotherapy, reiki, stone therapy, sound therapy, quantum energy and dreamwork, among many other disciplines.

And they'll all be represented at this weekend's wellness festival.

"You don't have to be an avid meditator or yoga person or somebody who's into spirituality to come to the festival," said Beeds. "You just come and explore and you get to dabble. That's the fun."

The festival runs from 3 -10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Highlights include a wellness cafÃ, featuring chai tea and green smoothies, a healing garden, in which participants can sample healing arts for $1 a minute, a meditation with monks from Birken Monastery, and an all-ages full moon dance on Friday.

For a detailed schedule, visit www.interiorwellness.com.

Admission to the festival is free but donations will be accepted for the Y Women's Shelter.

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