In its second year, the Grand Island Holistic Expo on Saturday helped to expand the consciousness of area people about alternative methods of improving physical, mental and spiritual health.

The Bosselman Conference Center hosted the expo, which included more than 40 vendors offering a wide range of holistic healing practices available to the public through local practitioners.

One of the many vendors was Hydie Shiers of Heartland Holistic Solutions in Grand Island. Shiers is a certified Wolfe Deep Tissue Restoration therapist.

Wolfe Deep Tissue Restoration has been around for more than 30 years and has been a proven body work therapy to reverse the underlying cause of chronic and acute muscular and skeletal problems, injuries, sports injuries, muscle loss (atrophy), pain and internal scar tissue and crystallization in the body.

According to Wolfe Deep Tissue Restoration, internal scar tissue and crystallization are the significant causes of premature aging, pain and physical limitation.

After losing loved ones to cancer, Shiers looked for solutions, eventually becoming a believer in Wolfe Deep Tissue Restoration as a way to heal and restore people.

“There is so much suffering,” she said. “I knew there had to be a better way. There had to be more than what was being offered by the medical community.”

Shiers said the Holistic Expo is all about displaying different ways of thinking about healing other than the conventional methods.

“My passion is to educate and help people learn to look after themselves and love themselves on a physical, nutritional and emotional level.”

Another vendor was Marlene Porter, who operates She. Porter is a Language of Light channeler, intuitive healer and spiritual consultant.

“I started She because I wanted to bring encouragement and spiritual awareness that people are divine,” she said. “I wanted to be able to help people understand how important they are to everything and that they are loved.”

Porter believes in self-love as a healing method, as self-doubt and poor self-esteem create negativity that can foster poor physical, mental and spiritual health.

“As we learn to love ourselves, we can learn to love others,” she said. “There is only fear and love, and it is wonderful to choose love.”

Porter said she looks at participating in the Holistic Expo as being part of a team.

While she and other vendors sell their services and products, they are also educators. They teach the public about different methods of holistic healing. These methods take on a more systematic approach in dealing with what ails people, looking at how the world around us contributes to physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

“There are all different types of modalities being offered, and everybody is so willing to work together to help others,” she said.

Rosa Maria Brooks of Hastings operates Rosa Maria’s Wellness, a spirit and astrology healing center. She is also a licensed massage therapist and a clairvoyant.

A native of Colombia, Brooks said she realized at a young age she had special gifts that could be used to help others. As she grew older, she learned other alternative practices of healing, along with the development of her gifts. Along with providing advice to people on how to deal with difficult times in their lives, she is also a motivator and uses her intuitive gifts to help people realize their potential.

She said people are looking for answers to help make them better other than relying on taking a regimen of pills. That is why she thinks the Grand Island Holistic Expo is influential in bringing together so many diversified methods and practices of healing. Many of these methods have ancient roots from when people were living closer to nature and the healing powers it provides.

Organizing the Holistic Expo was Sarah Larsen Astrones, the owner of Better Living by Sarah.

Larsen Astrones is a licensed independent mental health practitioner, a licensed independent professional counselor, an International Center for Reiki Training and Reiki Membership Association professional Reiki master teacher, and a registered Holy Fire III Karuna Reiki master teacher.

“I wanted there to be a little bit more variety this year to give people more of a choice,” she said.

Larsen Astrones said by offering more vendors, the expo better educates the public on the many alternative healing practices and methods in the Tri-Cities area.

She said many people still have questions or doubts about these alternatives to healing.

“Last year, a lot of people were interested and came to scope out the information the vendors were providing,” Larsen Astrones said. “They wanted to learn a little bit more about what we have to offer. The holistic spectrum is so huge and so variable from one end to the other. We have vendors who are energy healers to licensed health care professionals.”

Along with holistic solutions for humans, Alison Martin of Grand Island offers services to help people improve their communications with their pets through energy healing and holistic care options. She operates the Animal Soul Connection.

“I am very passionate about educating pet guardians about the benefits of animal communication and how important it is for their animals to be heard and understood,” Martin said. “Animal communication can help resolve behavior and emotional problems and can sometimes get to the root of physical issues. It helps to change the animal’s life and bring great peace of mind to the pet guardian.”

While many of the holistic practices deal with what many see as exotic methods of healing, there were also more mainstream practitioners at the expo, such as Dr. Nick Rech, a physical therapist whose Rech Physio in Grand Island is a mobile physical therapy and wellness business.

“I provide fitness training and physical therapy in people’s homes and via telehealth,” Rech said.

Physical therapy is a holistic method of healing that improves the body’s way of navigating the world, he said.

“That is especially true as people get older as they have an increased risk of falling,” Rech said.

Through his services, he teaches people what many assume to be simple tasks, such as getting out of bed or getting off the floor that help people be able to live at home independently and safely. These tasks become more difficult as we age for various reasons.

“Keeping yourself strong and balanced throughout life is very important,” Rech said.

Many of the holistic practices and methods offered at the expo can help bring that strength and balance physically, mentally and spiritually for a more healthy and productive life.

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