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Lansing has had a belly full of food and beverage festivals this year, but the change in season calls for a new kind of assembly. The Metaphest Metaphysical Festival is coming to REO Town later this month and aims to fill the void between gluttonous self-care and the demands of daily life. The new guru on the block, Jo Figueras, owner of Woke Mind Body Studios invites Lansing’s empaths, intuitivists and reiki-enthusiasts to a mind-melding gathering.
The day-long event on Sept. 21, just days before the autumnal equinox, will feature lectures, palm and psychic readings, Celtic runes, chair massage and reiki. Artisans will sell crystal jewelry, tarot cards and paintings throughout the day. Intuitive readers from West Michigan are expected to join local enthusiasts in alternative medicine, according to the Facebook event page.
Figueras, who identifies as an empath, said her studios serve as a place for those seeking emotional realignment, but aren’t necessarily interested in the “woo-woo” of healing-arts — such as tarot cards, runes or crystals.
“Everything I do is science-based,” she said. “But to start, you have to take that stigma away, so I do what I can.”
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released a study in 2008 showing an uptake in Americans using complementary and alternative medicine. Of the 23,393 adults surveyed, 38% said they incorporate alternative medicine into their health routine — and the majority are white, upper-class women with college degrees. Examples of “complementary and alternative medicine” include energy therapy such as reiki, guided imagery and meditation, massage and naturopathy. All of the practices recognize the self-healing process and are often administered by individuals known as empaths.
Figueras said her most successful class is “Workshop for Empaths,” where she helps individuals manage their emotions, rather than being “sponges” that soak up negative energy. Most of the attendees are women, she added, but she also works with male empaths. She described a male empath as anyone looking for emotion-balancing strategies for work or an individual struggling to navigate the heated social climate spurred by the #metoo movement.
She said one of the results of the movement that she’s observed through her profession are straight men being afraid to physically interact with women, such as a touch on the shoulder, without explicit consent.
Across the board, Woke assists Figuera’s mission to break the stigma of “being too sensitive.” She said her workshops focus on “channeling a higher energy” and helping people see their emotions as power.
“Empathy is something that everyone is born with,” she said.
Metaphest Metaphysical Fair
Saturday, Sept. 21
11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Woke Mind Body Studio
1133 S. Washington Ave., Lansing