TAMPA — Nora Smith of Tampa was 22 when she had her first psychic reading.
“It was impactful and made me realize that there was another realm out there,” Smith said.
Years ago, her friend, Karen Trzcinka, had a palm reading in New Orleans.
“It was in a back room,” Trzcinka said, “behind a beaded curtain.”
On Sunday, Smith and Trzcinka were among dozens of people at the Body, Mind & Spirit Expo at Sheraton Airport Westshore hotel, which started Saturday and ended Sunday afternoon.
The event featured 39 vendors, from psychics, tarot card and past-life readers to exhibitors selling all-natural soaps and perfume oils, aromatherapy implements and artwork.
For her mother, Smith bought an aromatherapy candle diffuser and arthritis cream with natural ingredients.
Trzcinka had a session with psychic medium Dianne Warren.
“I had gone to her before; it’s interesting,” Trczinka said. “I’ve gone on a few occasions and without telling them what was going on in my world, they told me what was going and what was going to change. You don’t ask them anything, they just start telling you.”
She said that the mediums she spoke with dispensed accurate information.
Smith said that she is interested in “all modalities of healing.”
“At each booth (here) you learn something new about the mind and body,” she said. “They used to do this at the (Florida State Fairgrounds), but this is a much better location.”
Beth Snyder, director of operations at The Florida Institute of Hypnotherapy in Tampa, said the event was an effective way to market the state-licensed school, which opened in 2007 and offers courses in hypnotherapy, clinical hypnotherapy and transpersonal hypnotherapy, which she described as having “more of a spiritual bend.”
“You’re trained on past-life regressions,” Snyder said of the transpersonal hypnotherapy course. “It explores your soul’s journey, your karmic journey.”
The two-day event also featured speakers. At 11 a.m. Saturday, certified medium Deborah Richmond Foulkes delivered a talk titled “Talking to Dead People.” One of the last speakers of the weekend was Ginger Ravencroft, who spoke Sunday afternoon on “The Powers of True Aromatherapy.”
Behind a table full of orange blossom, wildflower, saw palmetto, Tupelo, blueberry and gallberry honey samples was Monica Obando of Quail Hollow. For the past 18 months or so, Obando and her family have run Santa Monica Honey.
Obando said that bee stings helped her overcome severe arthritis pain.
“You get 10 stings” at a time,” Obando said. “I went three times a week for seven months. I consider myself healed. It doesn’t happen overnight, but over time.”
Obando said that the varieties of honey are beneficial in different ways. For instance, wildflower honey, helps with allergies, she said.
South Africa native Sharon Bond sells all-natural, hand-poured soy candles in Clearwater.
A candle meant for increasing energy smelled of mint and citrus, while one labeled “Serenity” contained lavender, rosemary, orange, ylang ylang and lemon and lime.
“All of the soy is grown in America,” Bond said. “I make them all myself with essential oils, which are extracted from the plant, not chemically manufactured. When you inhale the oils, they act in your brain, and that’s aromatherapy.”