Wellness gathering near Wakefield, Quebec


by Trevor Greenway on April 8, 2010

Accupuncturist Bruce Cawdron will be on hand at the Wellness Gathering

Accupuncturist Bruce Cawdron will be on hand at the Wellness Gathering

Destini Broom is neither a construction engineer nor a doctor, but she’s out to bridge the gap between alternative and mainstream approaches to medicine in the Gatineau Hills.

Like many others, the 32-year-old Lascelles resident has benefitted in the past from acupuncture and massage therapy – holistic routes to wellness – but she feels opportunities are lost when non-medical practitioners and mainstream doctors work against, not with, each other.

“I think the possibilities are endless,” says Broom, explaining the medical advances in combination. “It’s just a matter of bringing them together, so they can benefit each other.”

Bringing mainstream doctors and alternative practitioners together is one thing, but getting them to see eye-to-eye on certain issues is quite another. But Broom says that with time it can be done.

It starts with small, incremental steps, and one of those steps is a Wellness Gathering, which Broom and several volunteers are organizing to take place at the Rupert Community Centre in mid-May.

The event will give people the opportunity to share ideas about health and wellness, and for those who know nothing of alternative medicine, the gathering is a perfect place to start. Broom says one goal is to “demystify” ancient practices of healing, so the greater public might have an understanding of alternative medicine equal to that of mainstream medicine.

“A lot of these things have been around for thousands of years,” she says.

The gathering also hopes to build a community within the Gatineau Hills for people searching for wellness information, mainstream or alternative.

An aspect of the alternative approach that Broom finds helpful is one’s beginning to understand the body and how it works. She said she has become “empowered” to investigate her own health issues, instead of getting a prescription from a doctor.

“You really take it into your own hands,” she says. “As opposed to ignoring it or numbing it with pills.”

Destini Broom

Destini Broom

Instead of relying on more prescribed medication, for example, a person complaining of a sore arm and turning to acupuncture and chiropractic therapy might investigate its beginnings and then take preventive measures. Acknowledging the possible challenges in getting alternative and mainstream doctors to work together, Broom says it all starts at the grass-roots level.

The Rupert wellness gathering next month will feature several business booths, some dealing with mainstream medicine, but most in the alternative. All of them, Broom says, will be local.

The gathering will also offer workshops on medicinal plants, Thai yoga massage for two, as well as Chakra healing and meditation. The workshops won’t be seminar-type lectures, Broom says, but interactive, physical workshops that will teach people exercises to take home with them.

The wellness gathering will not only focus on health, but also on lifestyle choices in general. People can learn about organic farming, hypnosis – even what to feed their pet dog, from a canine nutritionist.

The event will take place scheduled for May 16, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Rupert Community Centre. It’s part of a larger wellness weekend in Wakefield, with the fair trade fair scheduled the day before.

For more information, visit www.mywakefield.com, or check out the May 12 edition of the Low Down for a complete schedule and a list of workshops.