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Central Valley Wellness Expo March 13
Kerry Smith, left, and Jennifer Komatsu inside one of the massage rooms at the Natural Path Wellness Center in Ripon. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Kerry Harris understands the road to wellness involves lifestyle changes.

Scar tissue from an accident had left Harris dealing with persistent pain.

Then someone suggested she try a deep tissue massage.

“I was extremely skeptical,” Harris recalled.

She scheduled an appointment any way, desperate to find some relief.

The results at the Natural Path Wellness Center in Ripon astounded Harris.

“It made me realize the importance of lifestyle changes to improve your health,” Harris said.

Her experience prompted Harris to team up with certified massage therapist Jennifer Komatsu — who owns the multidiscipline Natural Path Wellness Center — to try and share holistic wellness options with as many other people as possible. The result of their collaboration is the first Central Valley Wellness Expo set for Friday, March 13, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  They opted to secure Crossroads Grace Church on Moffat Boulevard south of Austin Road due to the facilities and location.

The expo offers six sessions and a keynote speaker. Tickets are $30 at the door and include lunch. Registration starts at 8 a.m. while additional information is available at

The subjects being covered include wellness, mindfulness, ayurvedic, anti-aging, detoxing and nutrition.

“Not everything works for everyone,” Komatsu noted.

It is why they wanted to showcase a broad spectrum of wellness strategies in one event.

The goal is not to promote one wellness path over another. Instead it is to allow participants the chance to hear options and decide what might work best for them.

As an example, a vegan diet might not work well for one individual but would for another.

Regardless, Komatsu stresses “the food you eat can contribute to improving your lifestyle. . . . If you eat properly cells rebuild.”

Komatsu also added that wellness is a continuing journey.

“The goal is to learn how to get your body to function optimally without taking pills,” Harris said. “Quick fixes don’t work.”

Based on her experiences Harris noted that wellness strategies are “powerful and can change your lives.”

The need to approach wellness by lifestyle is underscored by those living in affluent Marin County, Komatsu pointed out.

“When you think of Marin County you think of hot tubs, personal trainers and healthy lifestyles,” Komatsu said.

But Marin County ranks in the upper echelon of counties countrywide for heart disease.

“Stress is the No. 1 killer as it leads to diseases such as heart disease,” she said.

And Marin County — with the pressure of commuting to San Francisco and the need to earn high incomes to live there — creates stress.

Holistic wellness strategies have been proven to lower stress significantly through exercise, diet, and nutrition.