Holistic Health and Wellness Conference serves as an educational experience

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Alissa Stockton presents a class on alternative medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine and yoga at the second annual Health and Wellness Conference on Saturday.

By Brooke Curley


THATCHER- From acupuncture to harvesting desert medicinal plants, this year’s Holistic Health and Wellness Conference covered a plethora of subjects.

This year’s conference was held at the  Eastern Arizona College’s (EAC) Activities Center on Saturday. It included local speakers presenting topics ranging from yoga, massage therapy and wellness coaching. Attendees were encouraged to give a $5 donation at the door. All the money collected at the conference through ticket sales will be donated to EAC’s Nursing Program for its humanitarian trip to Honduras.

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Keynote speaker Dr. Kenny Goodman speaks to attendees at the conference.

Dr Kenny Goodman, who was the keynote speaker of the conference, encouraged attendees to start moving toward better health to embrace a better future.

“Be there healthy,” he said. “You’re going to be there anyway, right? Five years from now, everybody is going to be five years older. There’s no way you can stop that. There’s no way that you can turn back that time. You’re going to be where you’re going to be in five years. Be there healthy. That’s my challenge to you.”

Local author Misty Thompson gave a lecture on embracing the lessons of tragedy. She said while this was her first wellness conference she greatly enjoyed it.

“I think it’s really good,” Thompson said. “I love it. I love the approach on how they focus on the mind, body and the spirit. It’s holistic, so it takes into consideration the whole body, which is important. I’m really interested in hearing what everyone else has to say.”

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: As one of the vendors, Indigo Mountain Wellness Gifts and Toys brought eye-catching gadgets to draw the attention of the crowed.

Andra Jensen, who attended the first conference a year ago, said she appreciated the gathering because it brings clarity and focus to health.

“So far, it’s great; just as good as last year if not better,” Jensen said. “It gives me a greater consciousness and focus on health. It feels like a support group. It feels like a fresh start, and it helps me to move forward with better consciousness, focus and energy.”

Other speakers at the conference included Dr. Drew Christensen, Kally Efros, Alissa Stockton, Wendy Skinner, Doug Grant, Marsha Petitt, Margo Henrie, Kathy Wright and Larissa Reed.