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Workshops to promote practices and remedies to promote immunity, healing and stress relief: Institute for Holistic Health Studies presents spring wellness events

DANBURY, CONN. — The Institute for Holistic Health Studies at Western Connecticut State University will offer workshops, a health fair and meditation exercises during March, April and May 2020 to promote practices for achieving and maintaining personal wellness.

IHHS workshops will include “Herbal Remedies for Strong Immunity,” led by Certified Dietitian/Nutritionist Alison Birks, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11; and “Sound Healing,” led by Sound Healer Kelvin Young, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. Both programs will be on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Birks’ workshop will be in White Hall Room 122; Young’s workshop will be in White Hall Room 127. Admission will be free and the public is invited. The Wellness Wednesday Workshops are offered by IHHS in partnership with the WCSU Counseling Center.

Birks, a member of the American Herbalists Guild who has been in clinical practice since 1997, will discuss how to use herbs and other natural remedies to treat common illnesses and keep the immune system strong, as well as how to distinguish which herbs work and why they are effective. A goal of the workshop is to provide a better understanding of how to purchase herbal products and create teas, syrups and other herbal self-care remedies.

Birks recently completed four years of clinical training with herbalist David Winston. She has been an instructor at the Institute of Sustainable Nutrition, Charter Oak State College and the New England Women’s Herbal Conference.  Her specializations include weight management, gastrointestinal and celiac diseases, women’s hormonal health, stress-related disorders, food allergies, diabetes and cardiovascular health. She also does compounding of herbal formulas customized for individual clients.

Young will use crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, chimes, gongs, ocean drum and other healing tools to activate the relaxation response, designed to calm the mind, relax the body and provide emotional and spiritual enrichment. Sound healing seeks through meditative sounds to promote healing from a wide range of disorders including chronic stress, muscle tension, high blood pressure, sleep disorders, addictive behaviors and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Young has studied sound healing with Master Sound Healers Paul Hubbert of Holographic Sound and Inner Balance and Satya Brat Jaiswal of the International Academy of Sound Healing. He also is a student of Brian Luke Seaward of Inspiration Unlimited, an internationally renowned expert in the field of holistic stress management.

Young described his first exposure to sound healing as an experience that brought emotional calm, physical relaxation and nourishment to his soul. He is in long-term recovery from addiction and has earned recovery coach certification from the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery.

The IHHS will hold the fifth annual Health, Fitness and Wellness Fair from noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, in the Bill Williams Gym at Berkshire Hall on the university’s Midtown campus in Danbury. Health and wellness experts will provide information and demonstrations on various products and practices related to personal wellness management. Admission will be free to this public event, which will be co-sponsored by IHHS, University Health Services, the Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences Department and the Recreation Department at WCSU.

Other IHHS programs in the spring semester will include “Mudra Meditations,” led by Jesse Rovero, at 7 p.m. on March 10, April 14 and May 12 in the Warner Hall Lyceum on the university’s Midtown campus; and “Chair Yoga,” at 1 p.m. on March 3, April 7 and May 5 in Room 212-214 of the Campus Center on the university’s Westside campus, 43 Lake Ave. Extension in Danbury. Admission will be free and the public is invited.

For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.