published Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Power of water focus of wellness workshop

Illustration by Laura McNutt.

WATERY WORDS

* "Drink waters out of thine own cistern and running waters out of thine own well." -- Proverbs 5:15

* "Only a fool tests the depth of the water with both feet." -- African proverb

* "The deeper the waters, the more still they run." -- Korean proverb

* "Any water in the desert will do." --Saudi Arabian proverb

* "In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong, nothing can surpass it." -- Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu

IF YOU GO

* What: Elements of Healing workshop: Water.

* When: 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday (workshops on Air and Fire follow March 31 and April 28).

* Where: Well Nest, East Ridge. (For address, e-mail drrick@wellnestchattanooga.com).

* Admission: $25 per workshop.

* Phone: 326-7099.

* Website: www.wellnestchattanooga.com.

DROP BY DROP

* About 70 percent of the human body is composed of water.

* Fresh water makes up 3 percent of the Earth's surface.

* The average adult can drink three gallons of water a day (about 48 cups).

* In a 100-year period, a water molecule spends 98 years in the ocean, 20 months as ice, two weeks in lakes or rivers, and less than a week in the atmosphere.

* About 27 percent of the average American family's water consumption is through toilets.

* Average daily water use in America is 700 liters (184 gallons). In Africa, the average is 30-40 liters (8-10.6 gallons).

Source: Internet sites

Flexible. Clear. Reflective. Pure.

Water has many characteristics worthy of emulation. At a meditative workshop Saturday, facilitators Rick Pimental-Habib and Stephen Cavitt will use a mix of modern and traditional holistic techniques to help participants incorporate the qualities of water into their lives.

"Our meditations will be around the power of water to help us see clearly what is and the power of water to help us be in the flow and be flexible human beings," Pimental-Habib said.

The workshop is the second in Elements of Healing, a four-month series Pimental-Habib founded to celebrate the third anniversary of his East Ridge-based private practice, Well Nest.

Each workshop centers on a different element, using it as a focal point to help participants achieve greater physical, spiritual and mental wellness, Pimental-Habib said.

The format of the event will remain consistent throughout the series. Workshops begin with breathing and movement exercises drawn from traditional Chinese practices of qigong and tai chi followed by meditation with guided imagery and conclude with a group healing circle.

By centering on natural imagery, the workshops provide participants a constant reminder of the lessons learned during the event, Cavitt said.

"Once you come to think part of you is fluid like water and is flexible, then any time you drive over the Tennessee River, it's easy to remember that part of you," he said. "When you work with nature imagery, it ties you back to the world around you. In some ways, we're always a little bit in class, a little bit in meditation, if we pay attention."

The series' first workshop, which was based on the element of earth, was held Jan. 28. The final two events, based on air and fire, will follow March 31 and April 28, respectively.

When they were developing the idea for the series earlier this year, Cavitt said he and Pimental-Habib were inspired by the reverence for nature exhibited throughout Chattanooga, which they both referred to as "the green city."

"When we're in a place like this where nature is all around us, it's as if the rivers and mountains are lending us some of their power, some of their relaxing qualities," Cavitt said. "When you're in a city that's a little more removed from nature, you have to work harder to connect with that energy.

"Not as much gets in the way here. It's maybe the difference between having a long-distance relationship with your grandma where you can call her on the phone every month and having her live next door."

Elements of Healing marks the first time that its facilitators have worked together.

Pimental-Habib is an author, counselor and psychotherapist specializing in a combination of techniques drawn from Western and Chinese medicine. Cavitt returned to Chattanooga from Atlanta about 18 months ago to work as an adjunct professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has more experience studying native, shamanic healing studies.

Despite coming from different backgrounds, Pimental-Habib said he was excited to combine their expertise. By offering more approaches, the chances of reaching participants increases dramatically, he said.

"No matter what kind of healing or wellness you're engaging in, if it's right for you, you feel it," Pimental-Habib said. "It's not where it comes from but whether it resonates with you or not.

"I hope people walk away with those kinds of things in their bag of tools. It's kind of a beautiful thing."

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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