As the trend toward alternative healing techniques takes off, more and more people are searching for information and resources.
Results of a recent survey conducted showed that when it comes to the type of health and medical information most often searched for on the Web, alternative medicine ranked number one, followed closely by diet and nutrition and women's health.
Mary Funkhouser, owner of Naturally Fine Herbs, a health food store in Craig, is working to give people access to the information and health practitioners that are growing in demand.
Each Thursday, area alternative health specialists present free talks on topics such as diet, electromagnetic energy and hormonal imbalances at Naturally Fine Herbs.
Funkhouser said two events precipitated the forums. First, she was getting many requests for information from her customers, and second, area doctors Neil O'Keeffe and Ralph Holsworth asked to speak.
"They wanted the chance to work with more people on the opportunities with alternative medicine," Funkhouser said.
Four forums have been held. Audiences have been small but are growing as word-of-mouth begins to take effect, Funkhouser said.
All the practitioners who speak choose their own topics and donate their time.
"More and more people are wanting to know more about alternative medicine to complement traditional treatments," Funkhouser said. "The interest is there."
Nationwide, more and more people have been leaning toward alternative methods for their health problems. The trend has been slow to hit Craig, Funkhouser said, but is increasing as people move into the area.
"There are new people in town who have had the opportunity in bigger cities and they communicate with others," she said.
The wellness talks are held from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Thursday. The topic Thursday will be the thyroid; on Dec. 16 there will be a discussion about eliminating allergies; and on Jan. 6 Maggie Connelly will hold an anti-candida cooking class.