North Philadelphia: A Promising Solution with Holistic Healthcare

A display of healthy food choices at the Wellness Fair.
Todd Hoover helped put the Wellness fair together for the community.

Residents of Yorktown and surrounding communities got a chance learn about and experience Holistic health practices recently. The Philly Wellness Association and the Saint Malachy School on North 11th Street near Master Street presented a Wellness Fair. This event and its services were free. Association members provided education on Homeopathic medicine, acupuncture, yoga, blood pressure, diabetes screenings, nutrition and much more. Liz and Todd Hoover, who are both dedicated volunteers at the Saint Malachy community and the Philly Wellness Association wanted this fair to be in a place to help people who don’t have everything they truly need for good health.

“We thought it would be very good education for people to know that they have options to their health care. In addition to seeing their doctor they may get something to complement the treatments that they are receiving,” said Marge Ridall, the executive director of the Philly Wellness Association.

Philly Wellness Association is a members organization of Holistic Healthcare practitioners in the Philadelphia area. This organization allows the practitioners to network with other practitioners in the same field. “The mission of it is to connect practitioners, to educate the public and provide services,” Ridall said.

Holistic health is a concept of preventive care that takes into account the entire body of an individual including the physical, mental and spiritual.

A practitioner demonstrates her craft to the attendees.mental, spiritual and emotional aspects of that person and then finding a cure for whatever their health concern may be. “What we thought we would do is bridge the gap a little bit, by bringing the practitioners for free to the community and hopefully teach people a little bit about the therapies so that they will know how to help themselves,” Todd Hoover said.

There were many services that anyone could enjoy and all of the practitioners who participated in this event were more than happy to serve the people who attended. “I hope to make an impact today. Most people are familiar with the American food and fast foods but it’s all about what they know.  I want to teach them that healthy foods are great,” said Jennifer Slatowski, who is a Holistic Health Coach.

Elaine Francis, a Yorktown area resident, said, “I don’t have the best health, so I said ‘let me go ahead and see’ get some of the screenings and see how it helps and where it leads me.”

Bill is a message therapist and he want people to know more about Alternative medicine.

According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) revealed that about 38 percent of adults use Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In addition, the survey showed that 12.7 percent of adults used deep-breathing exercises, 9.4 percent used meditation and 6.1 percent used yoga as complementary and alternative medicines to help with their health problems.

“I want them to learn everything about the body. How the body can help heal itself with bodywork. I want to introduce the community to how there is an alternative to the regular care that they get,” said Bill, the massage therapist at the Wellness fair.

Many of the attendees were grateful that the information about Holistic health care was made available to them. One such person was Mrs. Walker, who lives right across the street from Saint Malachy Church and School. “It’s nice to get the information. Sometimes the information is scattered and you have to go here and there to get it,” Mrs. Walker said.  “But when you pull it all together, like here, you can see and get examples of what to do. So I think this is a wonderful event and very happy I walked across the street to get here.”