Start the new year off right with health talks

Talks led by members of the Whidbey Island Holistic Health Association are returning.

For the first time in three years, talks led by members of the Whidbey Island Holistic Health Association are returning just in time as many people prepare to achieve their New Year’s resolutions.

During a series of upcoming talks at some of Whidbey’s libraries, attendees can learn how to manage their own wellbeing or that of their furry, four-legged friends.

The first talk, “Tap Into Health with EFT,” takes place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5 at the Freeland Library. Instructor Lynne Donnelly will teach how to use EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, to ease physical pain, emotional distress and mental blockages by using simple, self-applied tapping on acupressure points.

Donnelly will share the history behind the technique, which was developed in the 1990s by Gary Craig. EFT, she explained, allows people to rebalance their energy in relation to whatever they’re focusing on, whether it’s a headache, sore knee, nausea, trauma, frustration, a phobia or a craving.

“I’ve been studying ways to work with energy since the 70s and this is the easiest to learn and most effective technique I have found,” Donnelly said.

She used the technique once on herself to overcome a fear of heights while visiting a towering cathedral in England. It involves tapping on acupressure points on the body while focusing on the thing the person wants to change.

Donnelly will share where these specific points are located during the free event, where chocolate may be available.

“For the cost of driving to the library, people can learn how to do this,” she said.

Elizabeth Johnson is leading the second talk of the month, which takes place at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 23 at the Coupeville Library and is titled “Who Is Your Dog?” Using the five-element theory from traditional Chinese medicine, Johnson will help attendees better understand their dog’s personality and behaviors.

Johnson explained that character traits are represented by five elements: wood, fire, metal, earth and water. Knowing which one is predominant in your dog, she said, will help pet owners better understand the animal’s strengths and weaknesses. She will also discuss stressors, wants and needs and support techniques unique to each element.

“It’s really kind of a magical tool that can help us find understanding, find empathy, find compassion,” she said.

The theory can also be applied to other animals, as well as humans. Johnson is currently working on a book that focuses on the same topic she will be teaching.

The Whidbey Island Holistic Health Association plans to host two library talks every month in 2023. For more information, visit