Two hours was hardly enough time to visit all the health and wellness practitioners along Oak Street on Tuesday evening.
From 5 to 7 p.m., members of the public were invited to visit with more than 20 practitioners across nine locations along Oak Street as part of a Holistic Health Fair.
The event attracted new mothers, senior citizens, young adults and all types of people interested in holistic health.
Kristen Van De Carr, of Action Chiropractic, organized the health fair after being intrigued by the concentration of providers on Oak Street.
"I've been watching that niche grow down there," Mainstreet Steamboat Springs Manager Tracy Barnett said. Barnett floated the idea of the businesses promoting themselves together, and Van De Carr ran with it, contacting the individual practitioners.
At Kneading Hands, massages were given in the grass in front of the building near the corner of Third Street.
The East-West Health Center next door is home to multiple health and wellness practitioners, offering acupuncture, homeopathy and psychotherapy among other disciplines.
When Denise and Russ Fasolino renovated the space and opened it as a clinic in 2004, they gathered tenants through word of mouth, and many of them were former patients who had gone on to acquire training and start their own practices. There’s been no turnover since, Denise Fasolino said.
Mark Rueff receives acupuncture and chiropractic treatment from Russ Fasolino along with other treatments for his allergies. He started with Eastern medicine after his dog started receiving acupuncture for hip dysplasia.
Alternative medicine “thinks in a much broader perspective,” Rueff said.
Russ Fasolino said the size of the alternative medicine community in Steamboat is a testament to the interest from the area’s residents.
“Everyone gets it,” Rueff said.
Elevation Dance Studio just off Oak Street welcomed attendees in to learn more.
And the five women who make up the professionals at Brio Salon talked about their offerings of manicures, hair and massage. The salon also just got an infrared salon, with different programs such as cardio and detox.
The Solstice Building holds a number of practitioners, including Jennifer McPeek, Tim Trumble and Kate Higgins, along with others who weren’t able to participate Tuesday evening.
McPeek is a doctor of osteopathy who focuses on cranial osteopathy.
Trumble practices a number of Oriental Medicine treatments while Higgins, of Sleeping Giant Acupuncture, specializes in a form of Japanese acupuncture with thin needles and a gentle touch.
Align, at the corner of Oak and Seventh streets, houses numerous practitioners that deal massage therapy, nutrition and therapies such as Pilates and Gyrotonic.
Holly Wright moved from Atlanta to Steamboat with the Gyrotonic machine and said it’s an evolution of Pilates.
At the far end of the fair, Becky Obray represented the holistic healing system of Ayurveda, which she likened to yoga but focusing on diet, lifestyle and the emotional component. Susanne Holloran, of Yampa Valley Art Therapy, also occupied the location on the corner of Ninth Street. She said her practices use symbols, color and imagery to draw out buried experiences that can otherwise prove harmful.
Rounding out the event were Michelle Hana Linet and Adienne Welder, of Sacred Spiral, located in a small cottage behind Align.
Like all of the practitioners along Oak Street, Welder said she often refers patients to the other alternative medicine practitioners, or to conventional medicine in some cases, based on what’s best for the patient, making the referral network important.
“We’re trying to find the best fit for our clients,” she said, adding that there’s a lot of talented healers in Steamboat. “There’s so many ways to approach the body.”
To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206, email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @MLSchrantz