Wellesley-based naturopathic doctors Amanda Ferris and Lindsay Bast have teamed up to bring a variety of health-related services and products under one roof on Mar. 4.
The duo is hosting the first Wellesley Health Fair at the Wellesley Community Centre, for a full day of educational seminars. The fair is free to attend and there will also be businesses and health care practitioners with booths set up providing information and resources, on everything from organic farming to mental health services.
Ferris has been working in Wellesley since 2008 and Bast since 2006.
“We wanted to work together and promote naturopathic medicine in general and then we wanted to do some kind of educating seminar, and the idea evolved,” Ferris said of how the idea came about.
They originally only approached local health-related businesses or people who sell health products, but soon realized there were lots of not-for-profit organizations who were interested in displaying their information as well.
“I had kind of been realizing as well about the time that Amanda approached me there was a lot of health-care-based businesses in Wellesley that I didn’t know about, so I assumed that other people didn’t know as well. So it serves as a networking thing for us with the other practitioners, but also to get the broader community involved,” Bast said.
His practice is located just a kilometre outside of the village on Greenwood Hill Road, but he says even he wasn’t aware of everything available in the downtown core.
Inspiring Minds will be offering a free place for children and parents to come play during the day, as part of their efforts to educate about healthy development.
A personal trainer will be there as well as someone who teaches CPR.
And they have midwives coming from Milverton, as well as a doula for those who are pregnant.
“We hope that people will look at the schedule and go ‘oh I want to go to that talk’ and come to the fair around that time, meander into the talk, go back out. The doors are just going to be open and it’s free to flow in and out,” Ferris said.
Lutherwood will be on site for those with mental health concerns. Ferris says including mental health professionals as well as public health in the fair were important elements.
“We like that idea of having natural medicine right next to public health, that both of these services can work hand-in-hand for people and they don’t have to make a choice, one over the other,” Ferris said.
As the sole naturopathic doctors in the village, you might think they’d be competing for clients. Instead, they’ve found they’re both serving a variety of people, but have carved out different niches.
“Everybody kind of develops their own preferences along the way. Based on your clientele you may develop a certain niche population that you treat. I’ve started seeing more chronic degenerative diseases in my practice and stress related things. And then I have a couple of assessment tools in my office that I use that aren’t part of the core curriculum at naturopathic college,” Bast said.
Ferris has gone a different route, following her strengths and passions. She does a lot of homeopathy, counseling and uses primarily Bowen Therapy as her physical modality.
Both will be participating in the seminars.
Ferris speaks at 11:45 a.m. about allergies and how to use mind body medicine to help with stress and allergies. Bast speaks at 1:15 p.m. about autoimmune disease and how some of the older therapies of naturopathic medicine can still be used, but with more modern scientific testing.
The seminars will start at 9 a.m. and the last one begins at 2:30 p.m. ranging from organic food to digestion to essential oils.
“Hopefully people find services they can use that they didn’t know existed in their backyard,” Ferris said.
The health fair runs Mar. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wellesley Community Centre. Admission is free but donations to the Wellesley Community Food Cupboard will be gladly accepted. To see the full list of vendors and the seminar schedule visit www.amandaferrisnd.com or www.greenwoodclinic.ca.