Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Chicago

Body Mind Spirit Expo Connects Us in New Ways

Jan 28, 2013 05:53PM ● By Megy Karydes

As a culture, we value friendships and community. We seek information. We are open to new ideas. None of this is exactly new, but a noticeable shift is occurring on a health and spiritual level as more of us are determined to take an active role in taking care of our needs. Enter the Body Mind Spirit Expo, coming March 2 and 3 to the Midwest Conference Center, in Northlake.

The Expo has grown both nationally and locally since it debuted in 1986, in Oregon. More cities have been added over the years, and now Chicagoland attendees consider the biannual event a community gathering point as much as a place to learn about new holistic and all-natural products and services from all over the country and hear from local vendors.

“The Body Mind Spirit Expo is filled with valuable information that will help people take better care of themselves and their loved ones,” says event manager Megan Mitchell. For the cost of a one-hour workshop in downtown Chicago, she says, attendees can enjoy an entire weekend of 70 speakers and interactive sessions, and see more than 110 exhibitors sharing information on topics that range from aromatherapy and meditation to alternative health care solutions. The Expo also brings the latest in thought-provoking presentations, advances in alternative health and some of the nation’s best psychics and mediums.

Exhibitor and presenter George Cox has seen the benefits of being part of the Expo firsthand. He and his wife own Natural Options Aromatherapy, in Belleville, Ohio, and Cox has been presenting and exhibiting at the Expo since 2006. “With aromatherapy, I guess it’s really more ‘noses-on’ than ‘hands-on,’” he explains.

His presentation aims to teach attendees how to use aromatherapy to assist issues that include sleeplessness, psoriasis, restless leg syndrome, hot flashes, lack of energy or focus, sinus problems, arthritis, fibromyalgia and depression. “In our talks, we let people smell the oils we are discussing,” says Cox. “In that way, it helps with the mind/body connection, because with a true essential oil, you can feel it.”

Connection is a recurring theme of the Expo. Jill Janeck, event development manager at Oakbrook-based ChiroOne, appreciates the opportunity to interact with attendees and discuss how its clinics can help with a variety of issues. “Most people think of a chiropractor when they have neck or back pain,” Janeck says. “While [chiropractors] certainly can help in those circumstances, they are often surprised to learn that we can heal other ailments like carpel tunnel syndrome and migraines, as well as knee and ankle pains. We also often hear from people who are sick of taking medications or pharmaceutical drugs and oftentimes, there are things our doctors can do to help them.”

She cites the Body Mind Spirit Expo as an excellent place to interact with those that have an open mindset and are willing to consider holistic and alternative options to their health and wellness. “Those who come to the Expo are already seeking solutions and ready to learn how to eat healthier, know the importance of exercising and are interested in taking a preventive approach to their wellness,” adds Janeck. “Our educators at the Expo are knowledgeable and can talk to them one-on-one, which many people enjoy.”

Food takes a more active role at the Expo this year, as more people are looking to make healthful and informed changes to their daily diets. Peggy Malecki, publisher of Natural Awakenings Chicago, will discuss the connections between food, healthful living and a healthy planet, as well as share simple recipes that incorporate more healthful options.

“The Expo is a great place for us to connect with our monthly readers and share information with them in person about many of the topics we cover in our magazine and website,” says Malecki. “Food is such an integral part of our lives, and one of the the easiest ways we can make a positive change. I welcome dialogue at the Expo about ways we can improve our diets while being mindful of the Earth’s people and resources. The dialogue need not end at the Expo—it is simply the starting place for many new conversations.”

Cox and Janeck agree that while the Expo is a great place to connect, it’s about the relationships formed that really matters. “We get calls and/or emails after just about every Expo we do, with people sharing their successes with our products,” adds Cox. “Recently, we had a lady call who had been suffering with cramps in her legs at night. Our Night Cramp cream stopped the cramps and she had to order more, because she’s been giving samples of it out to her friends who have the same type of a problem. To us, it’s the pebble in the pond thing; we help someone who helps someone and hopefully, they’ll help others, too.”

To learn more about the Body Mind Spirit Expo, visit

Megy Karydes is a freelance writer who loves attending any event where she can make quality connections. Find her at