HALFMOON — Southern Saratoga County residents seeking alternatives to mainstream medicinal practices are now able to attend a monthly vendor fair focused on holistic healing nearby thanks to a new initiative by a local fine arts school.
The CM School of Fine Arts, which recently relocated from a space on Route 9 in Clifton Park to a larger facility located on Executive Park Drive, provides music, dance, art and theater instruction to students of all ages and abilities.
In August, after moving the school into its new location, founder and owner Collette McComb incorporated a holistic-based endeavor into the building connected to the arts school, called the Center for Holistic Arts. While it functions separately from the arts school, McComb says that it "sponsors" the holistic center, adding that healing and the arts are interconnected.
Holistic arts, McComb said, focus on healing the human mind, body and spirit, as opposed to conventional medicine, which often focuses on healing just the mind or the body.
Many of McComb’s art class clients were already had an interest in holistic healing, some of whom were also involved with Among Angels, a Halfmoon-based psychic and tarot card reading business that closed earlier this year.
Sunday’s event brought in healers, therapists, and other holistic experts from all over Saratoga County.
“We have some serious superstar practitioners who are here right now,” McComb said Sunday. “My purpose for the center here is to help people make connections for whatever they’re looking to improve. We’re a center for healing and education. It’s through the fine arts that we truly live,” she said.
Lynn M. Gelman, an advanced holistic energy healer, a reiki master teacher and yoga instructor based out of Clifton Park, was one of the vendors present Sunday. Gelman pointed out that nothing about holistic healing is new.
What is new, she said, are the large numbers of people who are deciding to turn away from more generalized medical procedures, such as attempting to heal injuries with the help of prescription painkillers, in favor of a more natural approach.
“Now there are alternative therapies that can address your issues that pharmaceuticals can’t see,” she said.
Places like the Center for Holistic Arts provide people with the connections to specific holistic healing organizations, often for the first time, she said.
Those connection opportunities, especially on the local level, are the first step in teaching people that all things in life — like art, healing and self-care — work together, Gelman said.
“It’s all connected. This is the holistic approach. We’re all in this together,” she said.
Sheila Weaver, owner of Seeds of Wisdom by Sheila, is a reiki healing practitioner who crafts a large variety of essential oil-based healing serums and salves using plants that she cultivates.
Weaver has said her products have treated a wide range of ailments that have plagued people for most of their lives, from migraine headaches to anxiety. Some of them, she said, have even helped people manage their diabetes symptoms. She has no formula for her products, and uses prayer, research and suggestions from friends and family to navigate the creation of each medicine.
“The plants talk to me,” she said.
Citing the case where her salve helped a woman who suffered from recurring migraines her entire life, Weaver thinks that holistic healing is a lifeline for more and more people who have not found success with traditional medicine.
“I think people are getting away from pharmaceuticals,” she said.
The holistic fair will be held the last Sunday of each month from 1 to 5 p.m. at the CM School.
Consistency is key in ensuring that holistic resources are available to anyone who is interested in them, she said, which is why the fair will continue.
“That’s why I have the center here,” she said.