ATTLEBORO – A therapy dog named Brownie and the gentle, welcoming aroma of citrus created a relaxing atmosphere in the Balfour Room at the Attleboro Public Library’s Wellness Expo on Saturday afternoon.
Upon entering the room, the aura of relaxation could immediately be felt, especially for June McAdams of Attleboro, who was one of the first patrons to arrive.
“It smells holistic,” McAdams told Lois Foster, a social worker, who presented the event with Carol Bedard.
McAdams received a massage from Attleboro-based licensed massage therapist Jean St. Andre, which she called “the greatest thing in the world.”
“I think I’m going to start believing in therapy like this again,” McAdams said. “I feel more relaxed.”
Both Foster and Bedard share a building on 120 North Main St., where Bedard is a certified teacher and guidance counselor and the proud owner of Brownie, a state-certified therapy dog.
Brownie spent much of his time in the laps of patrons, or simply being petted as Bedard held him. One of those patrons was Cleo Senor, another social worker who shares an office with Foster and Bedard.
“You’re very sweet,” Senor told Brownie as he sat quietly in her lap, his tail wagging.
The practiconers held the expo in order to provide opportunities for residents to be aware of the holistic practices that are available in the community for those whose lives have a large amount of stress.
Over a dozen providers, including Merolla Chiropractic, LaSalette Shrine, holistic wellness coach Nora Verzone and Spencer Muscular Therapy were on hand to reach out with their own services. Other providers were set up in the Marble Room, which received an equal amount of attention from patrons, such as Julie Gortze, president of Rare New England, based in North Attleboro.
Kathy Furze-Spencer’s treatment chair was busy with clients receiving an aromatherapy hand massage.
“It was great, it was very comforting – like a meditation, really,” said Lauren Bardsley of Attleboro, who received Furze-Spencer’s treatment.
Bardsley, like many other patrons of the Expo, were appreciative of Foster and Bedard’s efforts to reach out to the community. June Fischbach of Attleboro also received a massage from Furze-Spencer.
“Everyone needs to learn more,” Fischbach said. “Everyone’s highly stressed, everyone’s rushing to go places…everyone needs to learn to slow down.”
The vendors were also busy providing information to those seeking ways to de-stress or simply to lead more healthier lifestyles.
“A lot of people want to learn to be healthier, but they feel they don’t have the time,” said Nora Verzone, who offered recipes for smoothies. “They seem to be happy to have an event like this in Attleboro.”