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Baylor Grad Spearheads Waco Health Improvement Event

By Lindsey Hurtt

Waco’s Natural Health Improvement Event, which will be held Saturday, February 5, at the Hilton Hotel, will be what Michelle Messenger ’09 hopes is the first of many. Messenger is the patient advocate and manager of Smithson Chiropractic and the chief planner for the event. “We wanted to get all the people who represent natural health together because there are so many people who are passionate about natural health, but they are scattered throughout the Waco area, and people don’t know that they’re here. So we thought, what a great opportunity to let people know,” Messenger said.

Messenger describes Saturday’s event as a “health expo.” The event will offer health seminars on the topics of stress and fatigue, weight loss, digestive disorders, and heart disease. There will also be nutritional testing. “We are supporting and promoting local businesses. We’ve been contacting people from massage therapists to organic local food farms. There is a wide spectrum that will be represented at the event,” Messenger said. Drug Emporium will be showcasing their new line of gluten-free products. Homestead Heritage, The Epicurean Chef, and organic clothing sellers will also be among those with booths at the event. Attendees will have a wide variety of opportunities to choose from—from sampling organic vegan cuisine to receiving a mini massage.

Messenger hopes the event will increase the community’s awareness of all that Waco has to offer in the way of natural healthcare. “The vision was to unite all these natural health representatives and let the city of Waco know the options that they have. You can’t make good choices for your health if you don’t even know what the choices are,” said Messenger, who sees the event as a catalyst for a Waco-wide movement. “We want to unite the Waco natural health community and start a natural health movement,” she said.

Messenger’s passion is natural health. When she got to Baylor, she took full advantage of all of the health resources available on campus. Messenger attended “health week” at the McLane Student Life Center and all of the seminars and programs that were offered. “I would go to those kinds of things to learn as much as I could,” she said.

Before long, Messenger was working at the SLC herself. “I was hired as a fitness instructor for my junior and senior year, and when I graduated they kept me on staff. It’s been a lifestyle for me,” she said. Holistic healthcare is something that is important to Messenger. “It’s not just about the body. It’s about body, mind, and spirit. Fitness for me, is a way I personally connect with God,” Messenger said.

Messenger has found her Baylor experience and connections to be of immeasurable value as she has embarked on a career. “My professors have been incredible and so supportive of everything I’m doing,” she said. Messenger talked about how Dr. Ann Mirabito’s marketing class and continuing mentorship has helped her in navigating the world after college. “I took Marketing 101 with her, and that absolutely changed my life. I learned so much from her about how to promote something through marketing and business. It helped me set the foundation for what I’m doing now.” Messenger went to Mirabito for advice on orchestrating Waco’s Natural Health Improvement Event.

The free event will be held on Saturday, February 5 at the Hilton Hotel, located at 113 South University Parks Drive, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.. To find more information about the event please visit the Smithson Chiropractic website or find the event on Facebook.

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