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WCSU Institute for Holistic Health Studies announces Wellness Wednesday workshops, more

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Institute for Holistic Health Studies (IHHS), contained within the Department of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences (HPX), continues its focus on promoting health and wellbeing for the community by hosting a series of new “Wellness Wednesday” workshops this semester. Wellness Wednesday workshops are one of the many educational offerings from the HPX department and the IHHS at WCSU. The series is designed to bring greater awareness to the many influences on our health and well-being, and to provide simple and easy practices to promote general health.

The workshops, free of charge and open to the public, will be at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Room 127 of White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. This series of workshops will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 13.

The series will include:

Sept. 13: “Introduction to the Integrative Approach to Health” with Dr. Michael Finkelstein. In this presentation, Finkelstein will discuss the emerging field of Integrative Medicine and provide useful information and guidance on the practical ways to incorporate complementary medicine into your personal life. Drawing on years of experience and training, this is good news for all those looking to feel more in control of their health and leave feeling refreshed with an optimistic perspective. Learn more at 

Sept. 27: “Acupuncture for Stress Management” with Licensed Acupuncturist Laura Shahinian Kara. Acupuncture has been used to stimulate health and healing for centuries and has gained popularity in the U.S .today. Learn about the benefits of acupuncture and how it can help to treat everyday ailments and promote health of body, mind and spirit. Visit to learn more. 

Oct. 11: “Decoding Food Labels” with Clinical Nutritionist Deb Oria. Have you ever wondered about what is on those food labels and what it all means? What about those health claims on food packaging? Do you wonder if certain ingredients are actually good for you? Learn about this and more at this fun and informative talk. You will leave armed with knowledge and tools to help you make more healthful food choices when you shop. Learn more at

Oct. 25: “Poetry and Journaling for Self and Social Action” with Holistic Mental Health Clinician and Reiki Master Rebecca Schoenewolf. Journaling — “writing to heal” — has been proven to help in problem solving, stress management and improving physical and mental health. Learn how poetry and journaling can give us a new perspective on ourselves and the world. Visit to learn more.

Nov 8: “Drumming for the Health of It” with Herman Olivera. Drumming is not only fun, but has many health benefits. Join Olivera, drummer, life coach and shamanic healer to learn what drumming can do for you .Visit for more information.

Nov. 29: “Pilates for You” with Marion Cooper, Pilates instructor and owner of Mind-Body Connection. Cooper will share information and easy-to-use Pilates exercises and techniques to address common aches and pains, reduce stress and restore health and vitality. Visit to learn more.

In addition to Wednesday workshops, the IHHS will offer several other events this semester. These events include:

Sahaja Yoga Meditation Series

This meditation takes place on the second Tuesday of the month (Sept. 12, Oct. 10, Nov. 14 and Dec.12, 2017) in Room 103 of Warner Hall on the Midtown campus. This is a seated meditation, which incorporates aspects of yoga, including breath work, finger mudras and chakra clearing.   

Special Event — Stress Management Lecture

On Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the Midtown campus, Dr. Brian Luke Seaward will present “Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards.” Stress is a part of our lives in 21st century America, but instead of stress managing us, we can learn to manage it. Seaward is a recognized authority on stress-related illnesses and proven practices to defuse stress and promote health, including meditation and mindfulness. His work has been published in a variety of printed and digital materials, and presented at TED lectures. A book signing will immediately follow his presentation. Tickets are available online at and at WCSU box office locations in the Midtown Student Center and Westside Campus Center for $15.

Christel Autuori, IHHS director, said, “As evidenced by the increasing attendance at the Wellness Wednesday workshops, the community is interested in learning about the many aspects of health and wellbeing. People are curious about other approaches to health besides our Western medical model and want to learn to incorporate healthier choices and habits in their lives. I am pleased that the IHHS is able to provide such programs and workshops to the university and greater Danbury community.”

The IHHS is dedicated to promoting health and wellness to the university and greater Danbury area through widely available programming and lectures. Its holistic perspective on health and healing integrates conventional healing with modern alternative and traditional techniques from around the world.

For more information, visit



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.