EDWARDSVILLE - The 2023 Metro East Holistic Wellness Fair invites community members to learn about alternative and holistic approaches to physical, mental and spiritual health.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, attendees can check out any of the fair’s 40 vendors who offer a wide variety of products and services. Aura photography, reiki, sound and energy healing, crystals and CBD products are just a few examples of what can be found at the fair.

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“We’re all trained to use the traditional medical model for our health. A lot of people don’t realize that there are other options out there for them, and they don’t know where to find these options,” organizer Joyce Stewart said. “So this is an opportunity where I’m bringing everybody to one location. They can talk to all the different vendors and businesses, sample different products and treatments, and they can really get educated about what the alternative health community can offer them.”

The event will be held in the LeClaire Room at the Lewis and Clark Community College campus in Edwardsville, located at 600 Troy Road. Admission is free.

Stewart explained that the goal of the fair is to expose people to different options so they have the opportunity to try new methods of healing. She pointed out that Western medicine is traditionally divided, and patients go to different specialists for different issues. Alternative methods, which have been used for centuries in other parts of the world, take a more holistic approach.

“The physical body, the emotional body, the mental body, the spiritual body, they’re all tied together,” she added. “They’re all interconnected. They all affect one another. And so to really heal, you need to address all the different aspects of who you are.”

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Stewart is a licensed clinical social worker based in Maryville. She typically works with women who have experienced anxiety, abuse or trauma, and she offers traditional talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy alongside alternative methods through her business, Living Free Center for Spirituality and Healing.

“A lot of the women that come to me have been to traditional psychotherapy and traditional talk therapy and they just didn’t feel like they were getting any better,” she said. “With energy-based treatments, we can actually heal the root cause. Your symptoms are going to fade away and you don’t need as many coping skills. Many of the times you can get off the psychotropic medications and you can really enjoy life again.”

This is the second annual Metro East Holistic Wellness Fair. Stewart brought the idea to the Midwest when she moved here from southern California. Last year’s event had a positive response, so the 2023 fair is bigger than ever.

You can see a full list of the fair’s offerings at Stewart’s official website. While most of the vendor spots are full, interested vendors can contact Stewart at 618-210-3500 for more information. Dr. Brad Polen with Superior Chiropractic & Rehab and Cj Lexow with the Prife iTeraCare Frequency Wand are sponsoring the event.

Ultimately, Stewart said, the 2023 Metro East Holistic Wellness Fair doesn’t aim to replace traditional medicine. The goal is to share other options with people who are looking to heal.

“My hope is in the future, [these methods] won’t be alternative. They’ll be used alongside as complementary to medical care, and the traditional medical community and the holistic energy medical community can work together side by side to heal people,” Stewart said. “It gives people their hope back that they can actually get better.”

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