Diabetes retreat encourages holistic wellness

    Participants of the Diabetes Wellness Retreat work on a tree of life craft.

    PROVIDENCE BAY—The inaugural Diabetes Wellness Retreat brought together women from across the Island for a weekend of learning, support and self care.

    “This is the first time we have organized a retreat like this,” shared Noojmowin Teg Health Centre diabetes wellness dietitian Natalie Hastings, who organized the retreat with her coworker, diabetes wellness nurse Kendra Still. “Kendra and I thought it would be a good opportunity to focus on diabetes management outside of the clinical environment.”

    The wellness retreat was open to any First Nations resident living with diabetes on Manitoulin. It was organized in partnership between Noojmowin Teg, Mnaadmodzawin Health Services, the Wikwemikong Health Centre and M’Chigeeng Health Centre and the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative.

    Staying at the Auberge Inn Hostel in Providence Bay, Ms. Hastings said that participants were immersed in diabetes wellness, making healthy meals together, physical activity and taking part in workshops.

    The activities included reflexology and food care, a talk from Derek Debassige about the importance of staying physically active, a yogurt workshop with Glenn Black, a Nordic poll walk, yoga, traditional teachings, a craft session, cooking workshops and a talk about diabetes management.

    One of the many activities at the Diabetes Wellness Retreat held recently in Providence Bay was learning how to make homemade yogurt.

    “The retreat went really well,” said Ms. Hastings. “Participants really seemed to enjoy all the activities. It was a positive learning opportunity for everyone and I hope we can host another in the future.”