Growing Alternative Healing Expos in Victoria

by Ed Sum The Energy Expo and Intuitive Arts Festival are slowly becoming fixtures in the Victoria scene. When alternative healing methods are becoming more accepted, to keep these shows home-grown and based on giving back to the community it evolved from are the goals that organizer Andrea Zoomis have in mind. The idea for these shows is to raise awareness of the many services that can help heal the mind, body and soul. To name a few, that can range from yoga, holistic healing treatments, tarot card readings and hypnotherapy. When western medical science cannot provide all the answers, there may very well be another means for a cure. "The truth really lies in the balance between the intuitive, the things we can't see, and between science,” said Zonnis, "and when we are able to walk that line in the middle, that's when the truth is really going to come out." According to this organizer, these shows attract a lot of artists and free thinkers. Energy Expo, which takes place early Spring, is a show for people to be able to go to discover avenues of self-expression and universal understanding. Plans for the Intuitive Arts Festival are well under way. For healers and exhibitors thinking about plying their trade, now is the time to start booking. This Autumn show takes place at the James Bay Community Center. While this coming show leans more on metaphysics and spirituality like the coming of the Winter season, the difference between both events are minuscule. "It's to give people access to these services because they are hard to find if you're just walking around," revealed Zonnis. At both shows, there is always an opportunity for the all attendees to interact and network. With a larger venue, people can also lounge around and get to know what healing options are available. But at the same time, these shows exist to give holistic health practitioners a chance to share their knowledge in hour-long workshops. All of them are generally well attended, and they give the public a chance to reconnect with their inner being. "My most important goal with both shows is to keep it sustainable, so that the people are enjoying and loving it. I'll grow it as how the community dictates," said Zonnis. In a city that is filled with many alternative-healing practices for the individual to explore, what he or she wants will depend on what that person is comfortable with. "If you're thinking about Yoga, it's huge in Victoria," observed Zonnis, "If you're thinking about metaphysics, there is quite a bit of it here as well. Holistic health (massage and acupuncture) is really popular." But sometimes, when people are quirking an eyebrow and suspicious of whether or not a psychic is genuine, this organizer advises that the individual should really do their research. She knows that there are con artists out there and the general public must be careful. She says that it's like any other profession, where there are people who are amazing at what they do and there are those who should consider a career change, as she jokingly suggested. The public should literally let their intuition be the guide. "You should make sure you have a good feeling about the person you are going to," said Zonnis. And to distinguish between the various types, she has definitions: In her opinion, people who are sensitive are just starting to really pick things up and understand their world. "Within that, the word intuitive is a bit of a cop-out for the next word: psychic," said Zonnis, "The reason is because of how mainstream media has completely blown the word psychic out of the park to mean something different: A psychic is just someone who sees into the soul." She further defines medium to be somebody who simply channels an essence from another world, rather than to have a knowing of what is. They can also get in touch with beings of higher power, like angels, too. Sometimes, according to Zonnis, they are bringing messages of hope through for the living to hear. In fact, Zonnis said it was a "spirit" who told her to start organizing these shows. She admits to not having a lot of experience in organizing these shows, but for the casual public or press, she is doing a very bang up job. And she welcomes feedback. "I'm always developing and growing the show so I can make it the best event possible for the whole community," smiled Zonnis.

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