By Haven Orecchio-Egresitz, The Berkshire Eagle
PITTSFIELD â€” Whether visitors were looking for tips on getting in shape, relieving stress, straightening their teeth or freezing away their fat, the Body, Mind & Soul Expo on Saturday had a little something for everyone.
Hundreds of people filled the Holiday Inn & Suites, formerly the Crowne Plaza, to meet with more than 40 health and wellness vendors and sample products. The event was hosted by The Berkshire Eagle and sponsored by Berkshire Health Systems.
“It’s good to take care of yourself,” said Linda Burke of Pittsfield, who attended to scout out wellness information.
Burke learned of the event because Dr. Mark Pettus, who was leading a seminar on hypnosis and weight loss, got her and her husband to try the ketogenic diet about three months ago.
Since starting the high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet, she has lost 12 pounds and her husband has lost more than 20 pounds, she said.
“I love pasta,” Linda Burke said. “Pasta’s not on the list.”
The diet also was successful in lowering Burke’s blood pressure, which had been elevated, she said.
Lisa Laramy, Berkshire Health Systems’ Wellness at Work program manager, offered blood pressure tests. Blood pressure is a “low-hanging fruit” in terms of identifying health issues, she said.
“High blood pressure is a No. 1 indicator that your health is not OK,” she said.
In years past, a reading of 140 over 90 was an acceptable blood pressure. Today, normal blood pressure is 120 over 80 or lower, Laramy said.
In the first hour of giving the tests, only one individual had high blood pressure, but most people’s readings registered between what is normal and slightly elevated, she said.
Managing weight, avoiding alcohol and sugary foods, and eating extra servings of fruits and vegetables are easy ways to reduce blood pressure, Laramy said.
In a room adjacent to the vendors, Pettus led his seminar, Dr. Daniel Sage spoke on advances made in joint replacement, and dietitian Samantha Sirani helped listeners navagate nutrient health claims.
Multiple CBD and cannabis companies offered information about the burgeoning industry.
Men and women lined up at the table for Kannaway, a company that sells CBD products, where representatives debunked myths about cannabidiol and its uses.
Everyone should have 50 milligrams of CBD in their bodies; those with ailments might need more, said Tammy Prevost of Kannaway. Some CBD has no THC, the chemical in cannabis that makes people feel intoxicated, she said.
Cathy Martin, a nurse practitioner interested in wellness, came from Westfield for the event. In addition to learning about hypnosis and intermittent fasting from Pettus, she also discovered Myofascial release, a technique that involves applying gentle sustained pressure into tight muscles to eliminate pain and restore motion.
Next year, Martin is considering coming back as a vendor.
Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at email@example.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.
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