Fun & Fitness Expo is Feb. 6 at New College in Sarasota

February 4, 2014 

Fun & Fitness Expo Thursday at New College

SARASOTA -- The annual Fun & Fitness Expo at New College started as a way to highlight the college's Counseling and Wellness Center that also serves students at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. Since then, it's become bigger. The third expo will be 1-5 p.m. Thursday, featuring everything from aerial yoga demonstrations to free mini-sessions of acupuncture.

"It's progressively grown. Over the past two years, we've branched out to the community and it's become a community event," said Erin Robinson, associate director of the Counseling and Wellness Center and an organizer of the expo.

"We promote the idea of holistic wellness from a lot of different angles," she said.

Some 800 to 1,000 people are expected to be at this year's expo. Vendors from Sarasota and Manatee counties will be demonstrating yoga, fitness activities, and massage, plus there will be animals from local rescue groups and the Big Cat Habitat, on-site HIV tests, a bone marrow registry seeking potential donors to match with cancer patients in need of marrow transplants, dance performances and more.

Mini-sessions of acupuncture will be available for free from students of the East West College of Natural Medicine in Sarasota. To emphasize aspects of green living, members of the Orange Blossom Community Garden will be giving away seeds.

Need a haircut? Get one for free at the booth from Manatee Technical Institute students. They clipped 50 to 60 haircuts at last year's expo, said Robinson, but requests are taken on a first-come first-served basis.

The expo will be outside the Counseling and Wellness Center, 5805 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, on the bay front campus of New College. The center is across from the Jane Bancroft Cook Library.

For information, call the center at 941-487-4254.

Lecture: Benefits of Acupuncture

BRADENTON -- Fiorenza Arigoni, an acupuncturist at Life Force Academy in Bradenton, will present "The Benefits of Acupuncture" from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the South Manatee Branch Library, 6081 26th St. W., Bradenton.

Up for discussion will be the history of acupuncture, how it works and conditions acupuncture can help.

"Basically, it redirects energy in the body to where it needs to go," said Arigoni. In Chinese medicine, the premise is that when channels of energy in the body become blocked, health problems will develop. Acupuncture restores the flow of energy.

It is especially good for pain, said Arigoni, including knee pain, sciatica, migraines, shingles and TMJ, and can be used to treat conditions such as insomnia and stomach problems.

Since earning her acupuncture license in 1999, Arigoni said she's noticed a big difference in how much people know about the ancient Eastern medicine practice.

"It used to be that people thought all acupuncture could do was to help stop smoking," she said, adding that personalities like Dr. Oz have helped introduce a wider audience to acupuncture.

At her talk on Feb. 6, Arigoni will talk about how acupuncture also can help everyday maladies like colds.

"If you have a cold and want to nip it in the bud, get acupuncture right away," she said.

The talk is free. For information, call Arigoni at 941-284-6476.

Susan Hemmingway, Herald health correspondent, can be reached at

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