Health, Wellness Take Center Stage

Char Ravelo. Coco Zickos photo

Char Ravelo. Coco Zickos photo

No matter your age or fitness level, there will be something to improve every life at Char Ravelo’s Kaua‘i Wellness Expo this weekend

Health and well-being are imperative to leading a prosperous life, according to Char Ravelo of Kaua‘i Wellness Expo.

“You can have all the money and material things in the world, but if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything,” says Ravelo, founder of Kaua‘i Health and Wellness Association.

The ninth annual Kaua‘i Wellness Expo will deliver that message Saturday and Sunday.

Attendees can expect to meet with individuals promoting wellness across the island, including representatives from Kaua‘i Hospice and the county’s Office of Economic Development.

The theme is Malama Na ‘Ohana — Care for the Family — and is meant to inspire individual wellness from the first to the last breath.

“It’s an out-of-the-box experience,” says Ravelo.

Meeting and working with people like these has brought great joy to Ravelo over the past decade. It started when she picked up a Mainland magazine on health and wellness.

“Halfway through reading it I had such a welling of emotions,” she says.

Ravelo receives an African sheel reading by Toby Christensen at last year's expo. Danny Hashimoto photos

Ravelo receives an African sheel reading by Toby Christensen at last year’s expo. Danny Hashimoto photos

The positivity and messages the magazine spread throughout its pages was something she wanted to bring to Kaua‘i.

“I knew we had incredible teachers here, and Kaua‘i had a message to give the world,” she says.

So she created the expo. It’s a way for “teachers to share what they’re doing,” says the Lihu‘e resident.

This year’s show carries an expanded definition of the meaning of health.

Not only will people be presenting products and ideas that are uniquely designed to perpetuate health, but this year’s expo also will feature organizations and initiatives that are in alignment with the same ultimate goal, such as Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s Holo Holo 2020 projects.

“We’re bridging another set of worlds,” says Ravelo, who notes that the government plays a role in community wellness just as alternative and conventional medicine do. The mayor, for example, has created a proactive way of leading and helping people by giving them tools to live a healthier life, such as creating more farmers markets and bike paths.

One of the objectives of the 2013 expo is to join together “movements” such as palliative care and Kaua‘i Health and Wellness Association with “systems” such as the government to create more opportunities to collaborate on future health projects. Even entities such as the Department of Education and Kaua‘i Community College, which also are pieces of the well-being pie, are helping cultivate the expo by co-sponsoring some of this year’s speakers.

Master Chungliang Al Huang again will lead a tai ji workshop

Master Chungliang Al Huang again will lead a tai ji workshop

“The expo is always a safe platform for discussion,” says Ravelo. “This is really for the betterment of Kaua‘i.”

There will be four featured presenters this year: Toby Christensen, Maureen Clemmons, Martin Rutte and Chungliang Al Huang. • Feb. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m., Clemmons, creator of Flying Pyramids, Soaring Stones, will present her research and theories on ancient Egyptians and how they may have used wind power to construct their monuments. • Feb. 9 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Al Huang, tai ji master, returns to the expo for a second year to present a workshop for Kaua‘i Community College students. Call 245-8271 for tickets. • Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., drummer Christensen will present the signature concert. His performance will interact with the audience in hope of inspiring peace and unity. The creator of Sound Attunement Therapy and Shift It!, Christensen is known as the “Sonic Architect.” Proceeds from his concert will benefit Kanuikapono Public Charter School. • Feb. 10 from 1 to 3 p.m., Rutte, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work, will offer a workshop on how individuals can learn to collaborate with others in order to create a more positive global impact.

The expo continues to promote wellness and bring awareness to health. It is also a great tool for networking.

“When you come together you can feel supported,” says Ravelo. “I’m looking forward to everyone coming together to make a healthier life.”

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