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Holistic health options fill Owl River Hall

Holistic health fair draws interest in alternative choices and attention to self-health

OWL RIVER - On the Saturday before the Easter weekend, visitors to the Owl River Hall learned about health for the mind, body, and soul during a holistic self-sustainability fair. The event was organized by the Owl River Recreational Association. 

Melissa McLean, an association board member, said the fair's purpose is to educate the community about the various alternative health care services available. She said many practitioners of holistic medicine and care are in the local area, many working from their homes. While many people are already taking advantage of these services, she said, quite a few more are unaware of them.  

She said the Owl River event was one of the largest gatherings ever held in the region to highlight the industry.   

“We are at a time in 2024 where Lac La Biche is lacking doctors…I’m constantly hearing from people who need health services…and they’re waiting very long wait times,” McLean told Lakeland This Week. “People need options. A lot of people need to know of all these health services.” 

The fair featured more than two dozen exhibitors, including massage therapy sessions, workshops and presentations on vermicomposting and nutrition, body energy work, alternative medicine, food health, as well as an opportunity to learn about midwifery.  

Worms and bread 

McLean owns a home-based business called Fermenting for Life where she makes sourdough bread but also runs a worm farm. McLean had a table at the event where she sold bread, starter kits for making bread as well as red wiggler worms used for composting.  

According to McLean, other exhibits also focused on soil health, including education on agriculture from the past, when chemicals such as Roundup were not sprayed on crops, and the land was given a rest between years. One vendor sold honey, while others sold such healing products as essential oils.  

McLean stated that when it comes to health, a holistic approach can increase healthcare options.  

“People need to start taking care and taking back the control of their own bodies, and their own souls, and their own health,” she said. 


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