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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Health practitioners connect with residents at Longmont wellness fair

From acupuncture to shamanic energy healing, health practitioners at Longmont’s free Windows to Wellness Fair offered a wide variety of methods to anyone interested in living a more robust life.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, city workers hosted 33 local vendors at the Longmont Senior Center, 910 Longs Peak Ave., in Roosevelt Park. Workers have put on the fair annually for more than a decade with the goal of exposing community members to the low-cost health and wellness services available to them.

“We’re just connecting people who want to be connected, and helping people stick to their New Year’s resolutions and be happy and healthy,” said Samantha Calhoon, a recreation program coordinator in Longmont. “We have a good array of different types of vendors, too.”

Calhoon said the fair usually pulls between 300 and 400 visitors, and said the city expected turnout to reach that level again this year despite snowy weather Saturday.

“People look forward to this, and we keep bringing it back,” Calhoon said.

In the gym of the senior center, many of the vendors sold wellness products and gave demos of their therapies to visitors. Reiki practitioners, massage therapists and dermatologists were all represented with booths this year.

Diane Brennan, a bodywork practitioner from Berthoud, has been a vendor at the fair since it began more than 10 years ago. Brennan let guests sign up for 20-minute bodywork sessions on Saturday, satisfying the curiosity of anyone wanting to see her technique in action.

“This is how I try to meet new people,” Brennan said. “That’s my purpose for being here, is to show people what I can do in 20 minutes.”

This year also brought a handful of first-time vendors as well. Lisa Chadsey, owner of Light Matters Therapy in Windsor, brought pads with infrared lights that she said supply the body with nutrients and help treat depression and anxiety.

Chadsey has previously displayed her light therapy techniques at similar wellness events in Hygiene and Johnstown.

“I’m just trying to spread the fact that there’s other ways to heal your body naturally,” Chadsey said. “I like to educate…and to have that connection with people.”

Elise Milam, another new vendor and founder of Respirit Breathwork, spent Saturday talking to guests about the therapeutic benefits of certain breathing techniques. Milam also holds Pilates classes in Longmont every Sunday.

“I don’t think healing has to be super-heavy and hard, even though I have breathwork for heartache and grief,” Milam said. “Breathwork is such gentle energy medicine. It’s one of the most gentle ways I know to release trauma.”

Milam said she’s already planning to return as a vendor for next year’s Windows to Wellness Fair.

“Nothing replaces in-person connection,” Milam said. “We don’t heal alone, we heal in community.”

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