When people first hear about Reiki, they're usually very skeptical, Rickie Meryl Freedman said.

But once they experience the Japanese relaxation technique, most people end up continuing with it on a regular basis, said Freedman, a physical therapist and a Reiki master and teacher.

Freedman will talk about Reiki and give massage demonstrations at the third annual Women's Wellness Retreat in Dallastown on Thursday.

"The event is for older adult women and those who are caregivers of older adults, who may be so busy with their professions and taking care of loved ones, that they do not have much time for themselves," said Tamara Ramer, community health specialist with the York City Bureau of Health.

The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at ManorCare Dallastown, 100 W. Queen St. in Dallastown.

A zumba instructor from the YWCA will lead interactive demonstrations, and there will be a pampering room with businesses such as Cookie Lee Jewelry, Tastefully Simple, The Copper Owl, Avon and others.

The keynote speaker for the day, Dr. Deborah L. Bernal of Wellspan Physiatry, will discuss stress management. She is known for her holistic approach to treating patients by combining conventional medicine with alternative therapies.

A session on nutrition will be led by Natsue Otake-Ferree, a registered dietitian at ManorCare.


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In the afternoon, a session will be led by Samantha Obeck, R.N., on taking charge of your health, and Linda Weihbrecht will speak on aromatherapy.

Organized by Senior Outreach Services Coalition of York County, the retreat is a way to reach out to women, Ramer said.

"Women tend to overlook themselves with their work schedules, busy personal lives, and in turn, they do not tend to give themselves enough 'me time' to benefit their health and well-being," Ramer said. "We aim to help this population think of themselves and get a break from the 'real world' so they can find new ways to improve their life, health, and all around well-being."

To reserve a seat, call Visiting Angels at 751-2488 or email visitingangelsst@comcast.net. Reservations are required and seating is limited to 50 people.

-- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or cshank@yorkdispatch.com