Dr. Karin Drummond, aglow from the presentation screen behind her, stood in a darkened room of the Venue Fine Art & Gifts.
Participating in the discussion Tuesday night were students seated next to retired community members.
Despite the age gap, audience members had one thing in common: they wanted to get better or knew someone who did.
Drummond, a chiropractor and physical therapist based in Bloomington, had come to deliver a 90-minute talk titled “The Art of Positive Mental Health.”
Three different categories of wellness — eat and hydrate, sleep and think, and exercise and stretch — were outlined.
In eat and hydrate, Drummond covered the basics of nutrition.
Such as taking vitamins B and C for brain development and anti-aging properties and calculating one’s daily water intake based on weight.
Interspersed with exercise strategies — for example, yoga during TV breaks or installing an exercise bar in your bathroom — were tips for restful sleep.
Before bedtime, amber-tinted glasses can block screen light and promote relaxation.
In the morning, a simple downward dog inversion can give the lymphatic system a boost.
The delicate link between mental and physical health was also a common theme Tuesday night.
Audience members frequently volunteered their own experiences.
Michelle Martin-Colman, wife of Venue curator Gabe Coleman, said her dad committed suicide.
“We really do need to live in a time when we take responsibility for bullying and suicide,” she said. “It’s one thing to be part of a charity and do the walk, but why don’t we start by just taking care of the person next to us?”
Drummond agreed and offered further advice in a tone neither conventional nor formal, but rather one that was derived from personal experience.
“I almost succumbed to my depression, but I was able to climb out of the hole with these methods,” Drummond said. “I’m grateful I now get to be a partner in health to people, an educator. That’s what a doctor should be.”
Drummond said much of her motivation came to her while she battled a chronic illness as a child.
“I was getting worse and worse, and they just wanted to give me more pills. At one of my hospital stays my mom signed the do-not-sue-us papers — that’s when I knew we had to leave.”
From that day on, Drummond and her mother turned to chiropractors and nutritionists for advice.
It seemed to pay off.
After months of modifying her diet, she finally emerged with a clean bill of health.
Another discussion point of the night was the danger in America’s pill-pushing culture.
“There’s no substitute for plant-based vitamins,” Drummond said. “Omega 3s have been shown to provide the same benefits as Ritalin, for instance.”
In light of World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10, Drummond said she believes small steps toward physical health are not to be overlooked.
“Even turning your head around, finding something physical you like to do,” Drummond said.“We’re social creatures too. If you’re part of a team, you can’t let them down. Maybe it’s adopting a dog, taking it on walks. You never know what treasures you will find.”
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