Health fairs, expos and conventions are a dime-a-dozen these days. Corner drugstores, corporate call centers, college campuses, even church basements pull out a few tables, invite a few doctors with blood pressure cuffs, fancy glucose testing schemes and free pens sponsored by drug companies and set out to tell the public what to do and who to see after you get sick. So what makes the Omaha Health Expo different as it presents its ninth annual event, this year at Baxter Arena on April 9 and 10?

“Well, to start with,” informs show producer Bob Mancuso of Mid-America Expositions, “It’s the premier event of its kind in the region offering information and education, products and demonstrations with a particular emphasis on holistic and natural therapies, the kind that have become so important and useful to the public over recent years.”

Mancuso established the Expo nearly a decade ago with the specific intention of acquainting the Omaha public with what are often considered alternative healing arts and those areas of practice that embrace body, mind and spirit when people apply them to health and healing.

The logic is this: Even though practices like traditional Chinese medicine, meditation, ayurveda, yoga, massage therapy, healing touch, acupuncture, herbs and more have been used successfully for hundreds and often thousands of years, American mainstream medicine has dominated public awareness… until recently.

Several studies have found that Americans are more likely to use alternative therapies before or instead of seeking conventional treatments. Ironically, the adoption of the Affordable Care Act does nothing to improve access to those viable treatments that so many Americans prefer. An event like the Omaha Health Expo helps keep those modalities and practitioners in the public eye. You can’t use them if you don’t know they’re here.

2016 Expo has moved. The important thing to know about the Omaha Health Expo 2016 is that it has moved. After years at the Century Link, the Expo will open doors at 10 am, Saturday, April 9 at the sparkling new Baxter Arena. Exhibitors’ booths will fill both the Main Arena and the North Arena as well as line the hallway concourse. Universal College of Healing Arts will again be offering free massage demos, as will many other booths and practitioners. Therapists can qualify for CEUs by attending UCHA classes while at the Expo (402-556-4456  and!ceu2016/watwe or register at the Expo!)

Speakers. Each year the Health Expo has sponsored free lectures and demonstrations by qualified presenters. This year has a particularly engaging group of speakers. It’s like a health-oriented TED conference!  Topics include GMOs, the Intestinal Microbiome, how to get in touch with your spiritual side, what modern chemicals are doing to the body, just to highlight a few. 

Speakers include:

Steven Druker, JD — Executive Director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity and best-selling author of Twisted Genes, Altered Truth. Dr. Druker will speak both days on “The Health Risks of GMOs: How Monsanto and the FDA Have Been Deceiving You.” GMOs are in the news and Druker can fill you in.

Andy Myers — Otherwise known as the popular media personality “Psychic Andy,” Myers always packs them in. He offers suggestions on spiritual awakening and usually ends his talks with a Q and A session you’ll find highly entertaining. (Both days)

Mark Gustafson, D.PSc. — Gustafson is scheduled to speak about the sea of unnatural chemicals that have inundated the planet and our bodies. Our bodies have had time to adapt to nature but they do not do so well against chemical toxins that have only recently been invented. You’ll like hearing what you can do about it.

Joel Dunning, L.Ac. — Dunning is a licensed acupuncturist with a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture is fast becoming one of the medical “go-to” solutions for pain, chronic illness, rehabilitation, fertility issues, even skin and beauty issues (yes, there are acupuncture facelifts!) Acupuncture has been used successfully (along with Traditional Chinese Medicine) for thousands of years and is finally gaining widespread acceptance in the West. Dunning’s presentation is at 11 am Saturday so plan to arrive early. There will be an onstage demonstration of the use of acupuncture needles, how easy it is and essentially a pleasant and relaxing sensation. There is a reason why millions of people around the world, and now a growing number of Americans, turn to acupuncture, herbs and Chinese Medicine.

Shawn Schmidt, D.C. — The intestinal flora, otherwise known as the gut’s microbiome, is a hot topic recently. Every yogurt or probiotic commercial talks about how our intestinal health is essential to our immune system function and our overall wellbeing. Dr. Shawn is a well-known chiropractor in Omaha and a leading voice in natural health. His talk this year promises to inform us about the vital role of the microbiome in health and in illness.

There are many more speakers in several forums on both days. Look for these and hundreds of exhibitors at the Omaha Health Expo, April 9 and 10 at the Baxter Arena. Admission and parking are free.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a metaphysically based polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. Important to remember and pass on to others: for a weekly dose of Heartland Healing, visit

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