Free event takes place this Wednesday, April 13, at noon in the Laney Quad

April 11, 2022

By David Rowe, Associate Editor

The Laney Wellness Center, which has been hosting a weekly series of “Wellness Wednesday” events since February 16, is planning an expanded health-related event this Wednesday, April 13, from 12 noon to 2pm in the Laney Student Center Quad. 

The event, which is being called the “Self Care Fair” will feature free Latin-themed food and drinks (including horchata and agua fresca) in addition to demos, acupuncture, salsa dance lessons and even free manicures, according to Avalon McKee, an intern at the Laney Wellness Center. 

McKee, in an email to The Citizen, said the dance instruction is being provided by Indra Thadani, Laney’s Health Services Coordinator and College nurse. The free manicures will be offered by students from the Laney Cosmetology department. A licensed acupuncturist from Berkeley’s Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College (AIMC) will provide treatments, MacKee said. Those interested in an acupuncture treatment must register in advance, according to McKee, using a form on the Laney Health website. 

A promotional poster from the Laney Wellness Center for the upcoming Self Help Fair taking place on April 13 (Source: Peralta website)

A less invasive treatment known as ear seeds, or auriculotherapy, where seeds are placed on specific pressure points on the outside of the ear, will be provided by the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences, according to McKee. 

“Laney has had an annual health resource fair in some fashion since at least 2013,” McKee observed. She said the event was done virtually in 2021 due to the pandemic and this year’s fair is being scaled back due to ongoing COVID concerns. While past events have featured 30 or more affiliated organizations, this week’s Self Care Fair will include only about half that number. 

Among that shorter list of organizations, will be the Roots Community Health Center. Roots “had to close their campus office and has been offering service to students from 7272 MacArthur Boulevard (in Oakland) for the past two years,” McKee said. She revealed that Roots is “finally scheduled to return to campus starting at the end of April” and said the Wellness Center will “send out info with specifics as soon as we can.”

A key objective of the Self Care Fair, according to McKee, is to increase awareness among Laney students of the available health and wellness services and to provide assistance in navigating them. She provided the example of mental health services, pointing out that “Laney students can receive up to eight free counseling sessions per semester.” Those interested just need to fill out a form on the Laney Health website. 

Other services include free COVID testing and vaccines, optometry services, reproductive health and testing for STIs, HIV, and TB, according to the Wellness Center website. 

The Wellness Center previously announced a Wellness Wednesday session for April 13 on the topic of interpersonal communication. McKee said that, depending on the interest level, there may be an “abridged version” of that workshop included as part of the Self Care Fair. 

The Wellness Center is expecting from 50-200 students to attend the Self Care Fair this Wednesday, according to McKee. As an extra bonus, McKee said the Wellness Center will be distributing “self care goodie bags” to attendees that will include essential oils and teas, among other items.