Workshop promotes stress reduction

    PORT HAWKESBURY: Several different practitioners of stress-reduction activities from around the Strait area descended on St. Mark’s United Church Hall last weekend, for an evening of workshops and public awareness about the courses and services available around the region to lesson tension.

    “Stress Release Made Easy” presented attendees with information about a wide variety of locally-offered options, from Tai Chi to Therapeutic Touch (TT), and delivered information sessions on practices ranging from meditation to massage.

    Photo by Adam Cooke
    Among the participants in Saturday’s “Stress Release Made Easy” workshop and trade show at St. Mark’s United Church Hall in Port Hawkesbury were Therapeutic Touch instructors Stephanie Butschek (left) and Kathleen Burbidge. Their practice group meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Evergeen Seniors Club in Port Hawkesbury.

    “Our goal with coming into Port Hawkesbury is to share all the things in this community that can help you with health and energy, and how to be able to build energy and to be able to go forward with the vitality that you’d like to have in your life,” explained co-host Michelle Greenwell in the early stages of the evening.

    Later in the weekend, Greenwell spoke positively of the response to “Stress Release Made Easy,” which attracted visitors from communities as diverse as Mulgrave, Mabou and Petit de Grat.

    “We were thrilled with the reaction of the people who attended,” Greenwell told The Reporter.

    “We are trying to reach the audience who has health issues and may not know what complementary opportunities are available to them in the community. It was our hope to raise awareness about the non-profit groups, Tai Chi Cape Breton and Therapeutic Touch, who offer special opportunities through community events.”

    Photo by Adam Cooke
    Natascha Polomski (left), who co-hosted Saturday evening’s “Stress Release Made Easy” workshop and trade show at St. Mark’s United Church Hall in Port Hawkesbury, showcased these singing bowls, gongs and chimes that are used as part of Polomski’s stress-reduction company Turn Up The Frequency.

    Greenwell, the founder of the Dance Debut instructional program and a longtime instructor in Tai Chi and Qi YINtegration, organized last Saturday’s event in conjunction with Natascha Polomski, who offers sound massage, sound kinesiology and specialized meditation through her business Turn Up The Frequency.

    Photo by Adam Cooke
    Delores MacDonald of Port Hawkesbury gave a demonstration on behalf of Tai Chi Cape Breton during the public workshop stages of “Stress Release Made Easy,” a three-hour event that took place March 25 at St. Mark’s United Church Hall in Port Hawkesbury.

    The two women were joined by other instructors of various tension-reduction techniques, as well as students such as Port Hawkesbury’s Delores MacDonald, who told the audience how Tai Chi has changed her life.

    “Tai Chi can be done by any age group, by anybody that has limitations or handicaps or is recovering from injury or is trying to put something in their lives to help them with whatever challenge,” MacDonald explained.

    “There are benefits for being stable, being aware of my surroundings, being able to move and being efficient in my movement so that I’m not overdoing it, to be able to recognize when we have limitations… and I can still benefit from it. I’m not going to injure myself, I’m going to make sure that I’m taking the proper stance and that I’m using what I’m learning to make me more stable and observe the principles of Tai Chi.”

    Photo by Adam Cooke
    Port Hawkesbury’s Tanya Levy, known professionally as “HeartLady” for her unique photography and items such as these “Healing Cards,” shared her thoughts on self-image and meditation during a presentation at Saturday evening’s “Stress Release Made Easy” workshop and trade show.