Communiversity event introduces healthy living to guests

Jessica Turner

Communiversity’s Wholistic Health Fair will take place 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday Nov. 10  in the Student Union. For 14 years, exhibitors have gathered bi-annually to share their alternative health philosophies with the public. The event will include more than 60 booths, 20 workshops and a silent auction featuring an array of healthy products.

“The Wholistic Fair was a trigger for me,” said Eric Soriano, exhibitor and natural health advocate. “It was the start of a whole new paradigm in my life.”

Soriano was invited to the fair last year, but was far from a believer in some of the methods presented to him.

“I thought, ‘Well, this is kind of kooky, but I’ll go,’” Soriano said.

Soriano joked that as a resident of Missouri, the “Show-Me State,” it took some convincing.

“So show me, right?” Soriano said. “And these people — they showed me. I think a lot of people think, ‘These are a bunch of quacks,’ but if they just try it … it’s amazing what your body will do for itself.”

Soriano and his family have been on a journey toward a healthier life for almost a year. His wife has eliminated her arthritis. He and his daughter attend seminars and lectures, research healing methods such as acupuncture, aromatherapy and essential oils and listen to testimonies along the way.

Although young college students may not be particularly concerned with health issues at this point in their lives, the material presented consists of practices that can be adopted early to form beneficial habits for future well-being. Relevant information can also be passed on to other interested friends and family members.

“I wouldn’t have done all these things if I hadn’t gone to the Wholistic Health Fair,” Soriano said. “It all sounded too good to be true, but I kept checking it out. And here we are, 10 months later, and it all worked. I got rid of a number of conditions that I couldn’t get rid of before.”

Linda VanBibber, who owns a new business called Harmony Energetics, is also an exhibitor at the health fair.

“It’s a great place to see what’s new and hook up with like-minded people who care enough about their health and quality of life to take charge of it and accept responsibility for it,” VanBibber said. “It’s a good group that shares the latest innovations in alternative and holistic health care. Great people.”

VanBibber looks forward to sharing modalities involving sound and scent, explaining that they impact the body and brain through olfactory and auditory senses. She will conduct demonstrations using tuning forks and crystal bowls. Her friend and fellow participant, George Moon, will demonstrate with essential oils.

“I took a Communiversity class this weekend and loved it,” said Courtney Versluis, UMKC senior. “Herbal Remedies with Regina [Compernolle]. It was very cool.”

Versluis expressed a desire to attend the health fair based on her other experiences through Communiversity. She has taken Chuck Harper’s letterpress stationery and bookbinding classes.

“I have loved all three classes,” Versluis said. “They were fantastic opportunities to learn something I’d wanted to learn under an experienced and passionate instructor. I would really like to attend the Wholistic Health Fair.”

Many Communiversity instructors have reserved booths and will teach workshops in the Multipurpose Room 401 at the Student Union.

“We’re all on this journey together, and we learn from each other,” Soriano said. “We attend these functions, and now I just want to help other people learn about these gentle, relatively inexpensive means to greater health. Now, that’s profound. That is worthy of my time to share.”

Soriano added that many people don’t know that not only do they not have to take seven different pharmaceutical drugs, those substances are actually toxic to their bodies.

“I think we have the wrong expectations, and culturally we’ve been conditioned to believe that if you have any kind of major degenerative disease, it’s going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars to correct it,” Soriano said.

The stories he has heard from others have inspired him to reach out and teach what he has learned.

“I’m inviting everyone to the Wholistic Health Fair right now,” Soriano said.

He referred to his personal database full of hundreds of individuals who receive his emails.

“People don’t even know this stuff, and they’re dying needlessly,” Soriano said. “If I can get 10 of them there, and they learn something like I learned and they can go forward and heal themselves, that’s a success.”

He described UMKC’s Student Union as “a beautiful venue,” and called the Wholistic Health Fair “the premier event in the Midwest for people to expose themselves [to alternative health].”

“They’ll never hear about as many natural healing modalities in one place at one time as they will at the Wholistic Health Fair,” Soriano said. “I’m really excited to be a part of it.”