The Sun Valley Wellness Festival is known for bringing well-known practitioners to Sun Valley for three days of interesting and informative lectures, workshops and hands-on exhibits. One of the reasons the concept has worked so well for the past 10 years is the openness with which such areas of interest are received.
Wood River Valley-based practitioners of all sorts of disciplines affecting body, mind and spirit participate in the annual event.
This year, among those presenters are the Rev. John Moreland of the Light on the Mountain Spiritual Center south of Ketchum, and Certified Somatic Experiencing and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapist Melissa Boley.
Moreland will give a lecture called "Attract the Life that is Waiting for You" at Sun Valley Inn's Columbine Room from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, May 27.
"My take, inspired by 'The Secret,' which can often be taken in a surface level, is to go deeper in ourselves and see what wants to come out of us," he said. "We'll do some brief guided meditations, as well as work on some take-home tools to help bring it into your life."
"Trauma: The Psychological Connection to the Body" is the title of Boley's lecture, from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 27, in the Columbine Room. Boley trained for two years with Dr. Peter Levine, who developed the Somatic Experiencing method of treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Levine also found that the method works for people who have undergone any type of stress in their lives, from car accidents to violence. Through the latest brain-imaging technology, researchers found that when severe stress is not discharged, it lodges in the body, creating lifelong problems ranging from anxiety and depression to unexplained physical pain and harmful acting-out behaviors.
Somatic Experiencing, a short-term, naturalistic approach, is based on wild prey animals. Unlike humans, animals regulate and discharge high levels of energy after a "fight or flight" moment, which helps them to return immediately to a normal, calm state.
"This has created a huge renaissance in psychology," Boley said. "It's all inter-locked. By the time you're 50 or so, you have kindling or layers (of stress) and eventually there's an avalanche. It might be a panic attack or your back goes out. Your body tags the trauma.
"My job is to pull the taffy apart and separate the pieces where they belong. Sometimes you don't know the source, but as long as you get the discharge (it works)."
Boley also will teach a Holistic Hula Hoop workshop from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sunday, May 27, in the Ram Room of the Sun Valley Inn.
Other valley residents who will be presenting lectures are Qigong teacher and acupuncturist Cal Millar, trainer Marian English, Ayurveda and yoga practitioner Wahnetta Trotter, Pilates coach Monika Schernthanner, Nia teacher Britta Van Tagan, Bliss Ball dancer Heera Sazevich and psychologist John Hebert.
A schedule and tickets for the Wellness Festival are available at Chapter One Bookstore in Ketchum or on the Web at sunvalleywellness.org.