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1. Our “Just 5 Minutes” class resumes tomorrow at 11:00am (EST)! If you are interested in registering, please go to http://edswellness.wpengine.com/index.php/one-week-class-schedule/

You can also download the EDS Wellness App to register for the “Just 5 Minutes” classes – http://edswellness.wpengine.com/index.php/eds-wellness-app/). 

2. I am working on the class #4 post and an EDS Wellness newsletter as I type this. The post-class 4 website post will have the list of resources I mentioned in class 4. Thank you for your patience in waiting for me to send it out!

3. Link to the edited version of our 4th LIVE “Just 5 Minutes” class video on YouTube – https://youtu.be/xb_sxU8u5_Y

4. Our mind-body strategies for hypermobility and chronic pain program starts early 2017! This support group/class program will be offered on Thursdays at 12pm at The Mindfulness Center Bethesda, MD. 

This project will also serve as the start of our first research project studying integrative therapies with EDS. This has been a collaborative project planned for a while and we are excited to get started. 

While we are holding this program locally, we hope to offer virtual attendance in the future. We will also be recording content formally to offer this program online so that those with EDS world-wide can access this program – no matter where they live and what type of healthcare or lack there of is available in their area or country.

The Mind-Body Strategies for Hypermobility and Chronic Pain should be starting soon (hopefully Thursday, Jan 12th!). Once I have official confirmation, details will be provided. 

5. Registration for our 2017 Integrative Wellness Retreat (Wellapalooza 2017) is open! It’s going to be amazing retreat! 

Our speakers are incredible and some are ones that have never spoken an EDS conference before – ie. 

Allysa Seely, 2016 Paralympic Gold Medalist with EDS, Mary Shomon: Thyroid Patient Advocate, Author, and Healing Histamine by Yasmina Ykelenstam. 

Of course, we also have Dr. Clair Francomano, Dr. Pradeep Chopra, Dr. Lawrence Afrin, Dr. Peter Rowe, Dr. Jyothi Rao of Shakthi Health and Wellness Center, Dr. Christine Hale (EDSer and Aerial Silks Performer) and more! 

Here’s a link directly to the retreat schedule and information page – http://www.wellapalooza.com/wellapalooza-2017-retreat-schedule-and-information/

I’m still working on the final schedule, so please keep in mind that not all speakers are listed, nor are all workshops are listed just yet. We are possibly going to have two “tracks” for people to choose from, but we are continuing to work on all event details including our dance party on saturday night and more! We also have a teen and young adults retreat program sponsored by Chronic Connection! 

We are capped at 50 people and we have several people already registered. Early registration ends on January 15th, 2017!

To read more or to register, go to http://www.wellapalooza.com/wellapalooza-2017-retreat-schedule-and-information/

List of Alternate Accommodations: http://edswellness.wpengine.com/index.php/alternate-accommodation-options-2017-physicians-learning-conference-wellapalooza-2017/

6. Registration is also open for the 2017 Physicians Learning Conference as well! We will be printing flyers and are happy to help you either print them or send some to you so that you can share information on this incredibly pertinent and critical conference with your providers.

Link to conference information and registration is – http://edswellness.wpengine.com/index.php/2017-physicians-learning-conference/

7. We have room for 6 vendor tables at each of our upcoming conferences, and welcome sponsors/partners/vendors who would like to participate in these ground-breaking retreats. Our conferences provide the opportunity to enjoy quality time vs. quantity with our retreat attendees and speakers, not mention the opportunity to attend a conference at an amazing 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 resort.

Both conferences are being held at Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, Va and we cannot say enough about their generosity and willingness to help us hold these incredibly important conferences at such a beautiful venue. 

We also welcome nonprofit collaborative partnerships and have put together an incredibly affordable way to host a *vendor* table at our retreat! Our nonprofit vendor table option also offers the opportunity to have registration comped. 

To learn more, go to http://edswellness.wpengine.com/index.php/sponsors-vendors-partners/

8. If you would like to help support the development and implementation of the Mind-Body Strategies for Hypermobility and Chronic Pain program and support group, or its research project initiative, or any of our other projects or initiatives (ie. the Just 5 Minutes initiative) we welcome donations of any amount — Every little bit helps!

All donations are tax-deductible in accordance with 501(c)(3) guidelines. We are also happy to provide receipts for tax purposes. 

Link to donation options and ways to support EDS Wellness’ mission, initiatives and research programs – http://edswellness.wpengine.com/index.php/donations/

Link to donate directly via PayPal – https://www.paypal.me/EDSWellness

9. I’m working on an EDS Wellness Newsletter that provides more details for each event and obviously shares announcements and updates on what we have planned and other pertinent information via email. 

If you are not subscribed to our email list and would like to be, you can either private message me or comment below with your email address. As long as I have permission, I can add your email to the list. Then you will be sure to stay updated on our events and information, since Facebook is selective in what people see in their news feeds. 

10. Details on conferences and costs (ie. Why does it cost so much?)

– EDS Wellness is a nonprofit that has only just gotten started from scratch. We do not have donations or grants or other funding to help off-as conference costs. Not yet anyway. That’s the hope for the future or what we are working towards. 

– While the work we’ve been doing has gone on much longer than we’ve been an incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, everything was funded through personal funds. We worked under an LLC called “EDS Patient Solutions” (or EDS Solutions), but nearly no revenue was brought back into the business to help support the work I do.

– The revenue earned through registration fees for conferences such as Wellapalooza 2015 or a few other projects, helped to pay back the money that was invested to hold the conference, materials, and help with some of speakers’ travel expenses. However, the majority of the projects have been self-funded just because, or personal funds have helped support the deficit in what money, if any, was paid or earned back. 

– Our speakers do not asked to be paid for their time. They donate their time and take time away from their families, on the weekends or when they aren’t working, to come and speak for us. The least we can do is try to help off-set their travel expenses. Not all speakers need help with travel expenses, since many live locally, but we budget to help those who do travel in to speak at our conferences.

– Our Integrative Wellness Conferences are a different type of conference. Sometimes that requires us to budget for rental fees of fitness or yoga studio, or the cost to hold a private movement or meditation class. 

– The overall cost is divided between less people than many of the bigger conferences. Our total costs to hold our conferences do not compare to a much larger conference, but larger the conference the lower the cost per attendee for the most part. 

– We do not hold any of our conferences to make money for EDS Wellness. Not that generating income or funds isn’t critical, because it is, but we hold our conferences because we feel strongly in impact of a positive, educational, and integrative wellness-focused environment to help jump start the path to finding stability and overall well-being when living with a chronic illness. Our conferences are a big part of the mission of EDS Wellness – both patient and physician conferences. Our hope is to break even, and not regret the risks we took in putting together such an amazing retreat. We’ve ended up in the red with other conferences, and have made up the difference with perosnal funds. The plan, as we grow, is to not have worry so much about if we will break even or needing to make up the difference with personal funds. We hope to significantly help support the costs of our conferences through donations, partnerships and funding specific to the mission and belief in the importance of holding integrative wellness conferences, and making them available to those who need to attend them the most. 

– We’ve also invested in non-direct to a specific conference costs (i.e. Wellapalooza website, cost of domains and website hosting, investment in IT help and more) with personal funds because when you are building something long-term, that’s what is usually required in business – nonprofit or for profit. 

11. Updates to EDS Wellness & Wellapalooza site – currently being made. Please make sure to check in and see how things have been shifted around. If you can’t find something, please let us know, but hopefully you can the information you are looking for easier. 

12. Our Board of Directors, Medical Advisory Board, Professional Advisory Board and Patient Advisory Board are all being filled and each member’s bio and picture is slowly being added to the EDS Wellness site. 

We are excited to share with you who is on our team!

12. Team EDS Wellness & Team Wella are hiring! 

If you are interested in becoming part of our team, please submit a volunteer application by going to http://edswellness.wpengine.com/index.php/volunteer-application/.

A few positions that we are looking for:

– Intern – public health major or college student looking for experience in public health, health education, nonprofits, social media, business, communications, etc. 

– Conference volunteers – help with various aspects of our conferences, including conference materials, communications, marketing/PR, graphic design, editing, running errands, speaker thank you notes, and much more. 

– Team EDS Wellness volunteer for same as above, but also other tasks such as answering helpline emails and taking scheduled helpline apts, fundraising, grant writing, health education, nonprofit networking, and more. 

13. For those in the DC/Maryland/VA area – a open to the public Posture Workshop held by Drs. Anastasia Rukavyshnykova and Marley Lefelar of Advanced Neuromuscular Physiotherapy, LLC. 

Date: January 16th, 2017 

Time: 7-8pm

Where: Bethesda, MD

To register, to go https://www.evebtbrite.com/e/posture-workshop-tickets-30328903567

14. EDS Kids book with Sarah Wells of My Stripy Life – Remember that project? It will be published and we have taken steps forward, big ones, but there have been several other projects to manage along with it. We are getting there. 

Thank you for your patience!