Wellapalooza 2016 was amazing. In fact, it was everything that we would hope for a Wellapalooza and more.  While I was running around like mad during Wellapalooza, there were many moments when I was able to enjoy being with the Wella attendees, take classes, and enjoy the moment. I can honestly say that I really enjoyed all of the moments for what they each were – different, unique, and hopeful. I think that’s the most important vibe that someone can feel and leave with post-Wella – hope. Wellapalooza was also relaxing and enjoyable. Somehow it all worked out – the three venues, the Physicians Learning Lunch, and there was a great mix of presentations, downtown and a lot of “doing” — or trying to “do.” We didn’t just sit there, but we moved safely through various mind-body classes.

Here are a few of highlights from Wellapalooza 2016:

  • Dr. Norris’ Restorative Yoga Class – not only did two people who usually wouldn’t be open to trying restorative yoga come in the room and at least sat down to be present, there were many of us with a few tears in our eyes by the end. I was more than happy and humbled to have so many people participate in restorative yoga with me, and I was more than honored that Dr. Norris opened up The Mindfulness Center to all of us with open arms. TMC has become my personal “safe place” and I was so thrilled to make it a part of Wellapalooza 2016.
  • Candlelight Yoga with Jessie Norris Friday evening at TMC
  • Dr. Afrin’s casual Q & A’s were more than informative, and provided so many of the fantastic opportunity to be able to ask questions in a different type of environment
  • Rebecca Snow’s Nutrition presentation was amazing and I couldn’t help but think of how many thing I could personally try to improve up to help my health, or take out for that matter. There’s always room to improve and help our bodies stay as strong as possible for whatever battle lies ahead (and the current one).
  • Dr. Francomano’s presentation on Integrative Healing for Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS).
  • The mind-body classes at Haven on the Lake that were for just Wella attendees.
  • Dr. Afrin’s keynote presentation on Saturday evening
  • Hosting the local MCAD/MCAS support group on Sunday morning for Dr. Afrin’s 2nd Q & A
  • Dr. Christine Hale’s amazing presentation on how to get your life back together (professionally and personally) after spiraling with a chronic illness. I think she may be the new favorite speaker on EDS hands down (and yes, we will upload her presentation slides and video as soon as we have them)!
  • The Physicians Learning Lunch on Sunday — probably my most proud moment of Wellapalooza 2016. It’s amazing when you are able to help facilitate spreading information, “how to” help, and hope to those within our broader communities, but it’s another thing when you can offer a place for some of the most well-respected physicians in our community(ies) to come together, learn from one of their peers, and discuss a comorbid condition as complex as Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).
  • Wellapalooza 2016 was not a huge conference —  I liked it that way, and I *believe* others did as well.  While I capped the number of attendees to 40 each day (30 on day 1), both out of necessity because of space and because I was  not sure how to manage a much larger Wella conference, the number of attendees felt perfect. The whole point of Wellapalooza is to learn, relax, and grow in the understanding of not only the condition(s) we each live with daily, but more about what we can do to help ourselves at home. Empowerment is critical, as is being able to share and find strength from each other — that’s exactly what we were able to do. The Wella Vibe was felt all weekend. I certainly felt it and was able to enjoy it. I hope those who attended did as well.

After Wellapalooza ended, it took a bit to process all that went on during our 2016 retreat weekend. There was also so much I wanted to say, such as personally thanking the amazing venues that hosted us, our incredible speakers, the attendees, and my new and old friends who helped me keep things going. Per usual, I’m still working on wrapping up loose ends, but have been posted physician conference slides and presentation recordings as they are ready, and I’ve also posted a Wellapalooza 2016 photo gallery (recently updated with more pics).

Additionally, the final PDF of Integrative Healing for EDS brochure has been uploaded (EDS Integrative Healing Brochure Final). It has also been uploaded to StrengthFlexibilityHealthEDS.com, and will be available on EDS Wellness.org’s new site which launches tomorrow!

EDS Wellness’ new website will have citations and resources used to put the brochures together — a year-long collaborative project between Kendra Neilsen Myles, EDS Wellness, Dr. Clair Francomano, Charles Thorpe, Emily Telfair, N.D., and included the help of a professional editor and graphic designer.

If you are interested in downloading or printing the brochure yourself, please send an email to Kendra@EDSWellness.org, or submit a request through the contact form below. Print versions will be available through Dr. Clair Francomano’s office and EDS Wellness, Inc.

Important piece of information – we will be announcing the raffle winners of the prizes from our Wellapalooza 2016 sponsors very soon. Please make sure you pay attention to posts, emails and our website for more details. We will be shipping the prizes straight from the Dysautonomia International Conference this weekend!

Finally, I will be forever grateful for to my old and new friends, family and our sponsors for their support and assistance when I needed it. More information will be coming soon about future conferences for both patients and physicians; however, the featured image with this post sums up the #WellaVibe greatly. This picture was taken after our Aqua Fusion class at Haven on the Lake on Saturday.

Wellapalooza 2016 Resources and Links: 

Wellapalooza 2016 Photo Gallery

Wellapalooza 2016 Physician Presentation Slides

Wellapalooza 2016 – Rebecca Snow’s Presentation Recording

EDS Integrative Healing Brochure Final

The newly redesigned EDS Integrative Healing Brochure (front)

The newly redesigned EDS Integrative Healing Brochure (front)


The newly redesigned EDS Integrative Healing Brochure (back)

The newly redesigned EDS Integrative Healing Brochure (back)


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