By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — It just became easier for community members to practice wellness and self-care. I Am Well Darke County has launched its initial year of monthly wellness sessions to be held every first Saturday. Celebrate You Saturdays put the mission of the foundation into practice: to empower individuals to “identify, achieve, and maintain their own unique optimal health and wellness.”
On March 4, participants gathered at Om Your Day, 120 W. Third Street, Greenville, for this month’s theme, “Planting Seeds of Wellness,” which included information on the health benefits of gardening and nutrition. One-on-one sessions were offered on chiropractic care, healing touch, massage therapy, and Thai yoga massage. Visitors were also invited to take part in sound therapy, chair yoga, aerobics, and even belly dancing.
Shelly Acker, LMT, certified health coach, and reiki practitioner as well as founder of I Am Well Foundation and owner of Imagine Living Well, added, “We became active November 2021. At the beginning of COVID, the medical system was overwhelmed. A group of practitioners got together, in different states, and we met every Thursday for a year to develop a whole person-centered optimal health and wellness model. Basically, the philosophy is that we want to empower people to be well, to be able to identify what wellness is, and to achieve and maintain it. Also, there is an entire toolbox of interventions or modalities out there that can help people be well before they ever have to go to the doctor. We want to truly just teach people about that.”
Acker continued, “It starts with a self-assessment to help determine which modalities might be beneficial to you. It includes complementary and alternative practices; it includes what we call Western medicine; it can include Native American practices—I mean, we’re really opening it up. It is for the mind, body, emotional self, and spiritual self… we want to shift the sick-care focus. People don’t really even try to get well until they’ve been sick.”
“The foundation is I Am Well America, but it did start right here,” explained Joy Roseberry, certified yoga instructor, reiki practitioner, and co-coordinator of Celebrate You Saturdays.
“Yes,” said Acker, “we have a national website that is called I Am Well America, but we actually just launched today (March 4) our I Am Well Darke County website. I’m a health coach too, and emotional mismanagement is a problem in our society—it causes other things. It causes drug addiction; it leads to so much [negative consequence] just because we don’t know how to get through it. So then we medicate with other things. This foundation truly is to help people become aware and also to see how you apply [wellness tools].”
At present, I Am Well Foundation is implementing a wide range of pilot projects in Ohio to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model while improving overall health outcomes. The model emphasizes the “whole person” holistic approach through a cross-cultural combination of of alternative health practices; traditional medicine; lifestyle medicine; allopathic medicine; chiropractic medicine; modern medicines; counseling; coaching; and mental, emotional, and behavioral health practices.”
“Every first Saturday we try to focus on another area in the body, another chakra, and we usually have around 10 to 12 practitioners,” said Roseberry. “Today, we have Thai yoga massage, chair massage, reiki, also a chiropractor is back there, you can play in the dirt a little bit because gardening is so awesome [for wellness]. We try to keep the whole day full and give everyone a little taste of everything so they know where to go. It should be mentioned that all the practitioners here, today and during other Saturdays, are donating their time. They each have their own businesses, but these Saturdays are their donations to the community.”
Roseberry, said, “This is a spot that has been donated to us on first Saturdays by Savana of Om Your Day; it’s her yoga studio. We are just trying to get as many different health tools to people that are kind of off the beaten path. There is so much you can do for your well-being that doesn’t involve a pill.”
Acker’s future plans include offering membership to a one-location center where a variety of different practitioners would be available. She said, “I really want to have an adult playground, so it won’t look like you’re going to a doctor’s office. It will be an experience. We have so much talent here in Darke County; it really is beautiful. There are passionate people here who truly care about others,” Acker concluded.
Catch the next Celebrate You Saturday on April 1, titled “No Fooling! Laughter is Good For You!” where smiling, humor, caring for our earth, and the use of voice and throat chakra will be highlighted. The $20 recommended donation benefits the foundation. Enter to win gift baskets full of prizes for $10 per ticket or three tickets for $25. Follow I Am Well Foundation on Facebook or check the newly-launched I Am Well Darke County Chapter website at IAmWellDarkeCounty.org for additional information.
I Am Well Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization devoted to a whole person-centered optimal health and wellness model designed to achieve and maintain health and wellness throughout one’s life.
Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.