Chambers of commerce typically deal with tax policy, government lobbying and business promotion, but a new, local group is taking a different approach.
The PA-Allentown-Reading branch of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce will connect people in need with “holistic” practitioners, who use methods outside of traditional medicine: reiki masters, nutritionists, herbalists, massage therapists and others.
The chamber’s goal is to help clients find practitioners who can help them, and to build a network for local professionals. The PA-Allentown-Reading branch is the chamber’s first in Pennsylvania.
“Our goal is to bring holistically minded people together and to help each other,” Alicia McBride, president of the new chapter, said Monday. “Our members want to build their businesses and provide for the community. We will help anybody in the community find a holistic business.”
The local holistic chamber is starting small, with five members, McBride said. She will lead the group’s first meeting, on Zoom, on July 21, open to members and guests. Contact McBride at [email protected] for information.
While the term holistic brings healers to mind, McBride said the term goes beyond treatment. One potential member, she said, is a local contractor who uses green materials and wants to reduce energy use. Other holistic practitioners pursue healing arts, such as reiki masters, who use energy to heal the body and soul, McBride said.
McBride, a graduate of West Chester University and current resident of the Reading area, said she is an “empath” who helps people heal by feeling what the client feels, whether it is sadness or stress or even physical pain.
“Empaths can take your pain away,” she said. “The people who come to me are overwhelmed, they are anxious and depressed, some in recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, or binge eating.”
According to her press statement, McBride is the author of two books, and is a reiki master and yoga instructor. The PA-Allentown-Reading branch of the Holistic Chamber is looking for a permanent location, McBride said.
The international Holistic Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2010 and is based in California. The organization’s website says its goal is, “Healther people on a healthier planet!”
The organization promotes holistic practices without putting limits on them: “The Holistic Chamber of Commerce purposely does not define the term ‘Holistic.’ We believe each individual can best create their own, personal definition of “holistic.”
The HCC website lists branches throughout the U.S., including in New Jersey and the new Pennsylvania chapter.