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Columbia residents learn about alternatives to modern medicine

Sunday, January 27, 2013 | 5:21 p.m. CST; updated 9:38 a.m. CST, Monday, January 28, 2013
Rachel Griffith, 7, demonstrates the Nasopure nasal wash system at the Wellness Health Expo on Sunday at the Hilton Garden Inn. Rachel has been using the system since she was 2 years old.

COLUMBIA — Rachele White, 51, grasped the hand of 10-year-old Matthew Griffith as she prepared to try Nasopure, a solution developed to cleanse allergens out of nostrils.

“Trying out the thing was at first really nervous and frightening,” White said about the Nasopure system. “I really thought I was going to drown.”

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The system, which is an alternative to antihistamine medications, requires squirting solution up one nostril while holding one’s breath and allowing the solution to flow through the sinuses and drain out the other nostril.

Nasopure was just one of many alternative medicine options featured at the inaugural Alternative and Complementary Medicine Wellness Health Expo, which took place Sunday afternoon at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center. More than 100 people attended the event to learn more about alternative medicine from 20 different vendors.

“The idea of doing this wellness program is to give awareness to the people about alternative medicine. Because modern medicine has too many toxins, people are sick of them, and they’re very expensive,” said Ravi Puri, the expo's creator.  

Puri, who has a doctoral degree in pharmaceutical sciences, said the biggest benefit of alternative medications is that they are less toxic and have fewer and less severe side effects.

Jennifer and Michael Griffith, the parents of Matthew as well as his younger sisters, 7-year-old Rachel, 4-year-old Allie and 5-month-old Caroline, have all been using the Nasopure system as an alternative to taking antihistamines.

Matthew said he uses the system once a day during allergy season and it works so well that the family has become a demonstration team to spread the word about the product.

Rachel was 3 years old when she was first filmed using Nasopure, and Matthew used the system on the television show, "Pepper and Friends.” This weekend, the siblings presented in front of only 11 people, though they are used to bigger audiences. At a presentation at the Stoney Creek Inn, there were between 50 and 100 people watching.

“I used to get nervous, but now it’s pretty easy,” Matthew said. “I’ve done it enough times.”

Among the other businesses present were Family First Chiropractic And Wellness, owned by doctors Kelli and David Winarski. At the married couple’s booth, volunteers got free spinal examinations as well as information about the services offered at the Winarskis’ practice. 

The business, located in The Village of Cherry Hill, treats all age groups and uses a well-rounded treatment plan that includes diet, exercise and spinal adjustments, Kelli Winarski said.

Also there to educate the public on alternative care was Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks. He helps run the store Peace Nook, which is located on Broadway under Geisha Sushi. The store has been open for 22 years and reaches out on a variety of topics, including eating locally-grown food and tips on specialized diets.

The business is nonprofit, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to education for peace, justice and sustainability. 

Puri, who has organized similar events in the past, said he plans to host the fair again next year and would like to include more businesses with a wider range of topics and products.

Supervising editor is Zach Murdock.


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