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After five months of feeling physically ill and depressed, and after seeing many doctors and leaving with no answers, Erin Brown’s health took a dramatic turn with a change to her diet. Similarly, after Lila Thullen’s oldest son was hospitalized for respiratory problems, doctors suggested that he was asthmatic; he’s been breathing fine since eliminating dairy and reducing processed foods in his diet.
For both Brown and Thullen, personal experiences and success with using food for health ignited a passion to spread awareness on the topic. After starting a small support group, Brown and Thullen identified a need in Columbia for a larger discussion on using food as medicine. The two neighbors have organized the CoMo Wellness Conference, where they’re eager to empower others with the knowledge that it’s possible to have control of your body and health using nutrition. “This is not disease specific or gender specific or anything like that,” Thullen says. “You can learn something there no matter who you are or what you’re going through — or not going through.”
The CoMo Wellness Conference will be held on May 6, at The Crossing. It will be a full day — from roughly 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. — featuring four speakers, question and answer sessions, and book signings. The conference will have tables where attendees can interact with the “partners in health,” local businesses with similar health and wellness values that provide good resources for the attendees, Brown says. Sponsors include Range Free, COMO Living magazine, Nourish Café & Market, and Family First Chiropractic & Wellness Center.
Thullen, a registered nurse, says when she suggests a health strategy related to food, patients often want to consult their doctor — so the speakers for the conference include three medical doctors and a registered dietician. At the conference, Dr. Terry Wahls, Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, Dr. M. Chris Link, and Dr. Melinda Hemmelgarn will introduce attendees to the concept of using food in their health practice.
Brown and Thullen want the conference to offer “people who are struggling with health conditions hope and a new way to think about their illness” by providing them with new strategies and tools to get well, Thullen says. The women also would like the conference to reach the medical profession for the same reason — to offer more tools. “I think it would be awesome to come hear from other doctors, ‘Hey, here’s another thing to think about when you’re treating your patients . . . This could be really beneficial,’” Thullen says.
Brown and Thullen want to encourage anyone who is interested to register for the conference. “This is a conference for everybody,” Brown says. “The stuff that people are going to be hearing affects everybody and it affects everybody’s children.”
CoMo Wellness Conference
When: May 6, 2017
Approximately 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with break for lunch
Where: The Crossing, 3615 Southland Dr.