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Positive articles, news and events in the Caribbean.

Marijuana and forest bathing: Wildest new Wellness trends

Marijuana and forest bathing: Wildest new trends in the wellness world

By Laura Powell, for CNN

(CNN)Walking in the woods, cannabis day spas and rolling around in sand.

These are just a few of the hottest trends in wellness according to SpaFinder Wellness 365, which claims to be the world's largest spa media and marketing company.

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What is acupuncture and how is it used in medicine?

Acupuncture is an ancient practice of medicine. It originated over 2,500 years ago in China making it one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world. The procedure of acupuncture has been used to treat and relieve symptoms of a wide range of diseases and conditions.

Health Matters: What is actually the definition of Acupuncture procedures?

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It’s based on the theory that energy, called Qi (say “chee”), flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians.

Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something blocks or unbalances your Qi. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence Qi and help it flow back into balance.

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Braco Reopening and Expansion to Add Hundreds of Jobs and Rooms

BRACO, Trelawny: April 26, 2015: As ongoing investment in the tourist industry continues to fuel the country’s economic development, hundreds of additional hotel rooms and jobs are being added to the sector. This trend is set to continue as the 225-room government owned Braco Village, is slated to reopen for the 2015/16 winter tourist season as the Meliá Braco Village.

A ground-breaking ceremony at the Trelawny property on the weekend, signalled the start of a comprehensive renovation project ahead of the hotel’s grand re-opening as part of the Meliá Hotels & Resorts’ brand all inclusive portfolio.

While addressing tourism interests at the event, Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill welcomed Meliá to the growing list of top hotel and resort chains that are investing in Jamaica as the preferred Caribbean tourist destination, describing their presence as a show of confidence.

“As minister, I want to welcome the Meliá group, it’s one of the largest hotel chains in the world, and their coming to Jamaica in this expansion programme is a show of confidence in our destination and in Brand Jamaica,” said Dr. McNeill. He added that “I believe we’re going to have a long and successful relationship.”

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Ministry of Tourism helps small hotels reap benefits

Kingston, Jamaica (April 20, 2015). Under the new Fiscal Incentives Act, better known as the Omnibus Act, the number of tourism properties eligible for tax benefits for re-investment and refurbishing has increased from 100 to some 400 entities.

“The majority of the newly eligible properties are small and medium ones that have not been eligible for decades to benefit from tax incentives for the refurbishment and improvement of their properties,” Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, revealed in his recent Sectoral Presentation in the House of Representatives. Another positive development the Minister pointed out is that under the new Act other tourism sub-sectors such as transportation and attractions are now also entitled to tax relief of various kinds while under the old incentives legislation only the accommodations sub-sector benefited.

“Further, the Minister stated, “under the old regime businesses had to seek the approval of the Minister in order to receive tax benefits.  Under the new law this is no longer required. Entities need only be tax compliant, licensed by the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) and registered with the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment.”

Benefits under the new regime include employment tax credits lower corporate income tax, product input relief,  that is relief from customs duty for raw materials and other inputs for their operation as well as favourable capital allowances.

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Painted Summer Bacchanal, ready to roll

Negril, Jamaica (April 14, 2015) Dubbed as Jamaica’s largest summer paint party, “Painted Summer Bacchanal” (Painted) is in its fifth annual staging,  to be held June 27, 2015, at Cayenne Beach in Negril. This year’s highly anticipated event is themed “THE WORLD OF COLORS”.

Promoters; BlackGold Entertainment explained this theme as simple as “the Jamaican motto “out of many one people”, it does not matter your nationality, bring your flags and represent.” 

Painted “Summer Bacchanal, brings the world to Cayenne Beach. Patrons will continue to get the real experience at the 2015 staging of Painted, as more paint will be available to patrons and the introduction of the new paint cannons and water nozzles. BlackGold Entertainment has signed with partners Charley’s JB Overproof Rum for another year and new partners Rush Energy Drink to intensify the taste and entertainment packages.

The production team promises an unforgettable experience at the 2015 staging with high-

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Les Voiles de St. Barth: Not Your Average Lay Day

Today it was good to have big grinders on your Les Voiles de St. Barth sailing team, but it wasn't because the wind was overpowering. It was officially Lay Day--a day to take a break and have some fun midway between the four days of racing--and many of the 70 teams competing in the regatta decided to join in organized water games at the famously spirited Nikki Beach.

Even without hundreds of energetic sailors around, it's hard to hang out at the sand-floored Nikki Beach Restaurant without consuming massive amounts of sushi (served family-style but in an oh-so elegant St. Barth way), enjoying a glass of rose (mostly poured from jeroboam bottles), or dancing (on the tables).  But today there was all of that to enjoy plus the additional attractions of Paddle Board Jousting, Water Polo, and even an Underwater Treasure Hunt…for what else, but caviar.

Five Roman Kaviroff Caviar tins, each with a white pearl inside, were hidden in the reef off Eden Rock, and swimsuit-clad teams from Intuition, Hamachi, Triple Lindy, Otra Vez, Toccato, Spirit of Nereus and Pocket Rocket donned snorkels and dive masks to find them. If Hamachi was the winner for finding three of the tins, then it wasn't so bad to be the loser, finding fewer tins or no tins at all, since all contestants got to eat their fill of the ‘black gold' back at the beach.

Turning it right around to enter the water polo tournament, Team Otra Vez was the perfect example of a team that came here to fully participate in outstanding racing, as well as anything organizers had up their sleeves for making this regatta truly unforgettable. After cheering from the beach when his team's biggest, strongest sailors helped put away their first match, skipper William Coates said with a sly grin, “Our motto, always, is ‘Have fun, look good, and place well.'”

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Jewel inks deal with Hilton Worldwide Curio brand

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica –April 2, 2015: Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has welcomed Curio – A Collection by Hilton to the growing list of top brands that have taken a keen interest in Jamaica as the top tourist destination in the Caribbean.

Sagicor’s Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa Runaway Bay and Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa Ocho Rios have become two of the latest Curio properties – and the first in the Caribbean, to join the newest of Hilton’s world-class global brand. Signing of the agreement was announced Tuesday (March 31) at a joint press conference by Minister McNeill, Sagicor President and CEO Richard Byles and global head of Curio – A Collection by Hilton,  Dianna Vaughan, at the Montego Bay Convention Center.

The deal also received the endorsement of Senior Vice President for the Caribbean of Ambridge Hospitality, Rich Cortesse.  Ambridge is the management company for the Jewels resorts.

The Jewel brand was started by Sagicor four years ago with one property.  With subsequent acquisitions there are now four properties with a fifth under construction in Kingston’s golden triangle.

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Yasus Afari Roots Reggae & Dub Euro Tour 2015 extended to mid-May

b2ap3_thumbnail_yasusafari1.jpgKingston, Jamaica, W.I. & Aarhaus, Denmark (March 29, 2015). Jam Yard Promotion, Reggae and Jamaican Cultural Association based in Denmark have extended the Yasus Afari Roots Reggae & Dub Euro Tour slated for April 1- 30, 2015 to mid-May, due to additional interest and increased booking. This exciting tour will now kick off a week later than originally planned.

Yasus Afari affectionately known as "The Rasta Guru” will make his appearance in Europe/Scandinavia like a true Roots Maestro with his full ensemble of edutainment which includes activated poetry festival, literature reading, reasoning sessions, school lectures. Even the churches in England are grabbing after the Jamaican Rastafarian Dub Poet Ambassador. It is no wonder, this Rastafari Ambassador “stunned and inspired international delegates at the Parliament of the World’s Religions held at the newly constructed Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre in South Australia in 2010 with his highly anticipated presentation, inspired by his book ‘Overstanding Rastafari: Jamaica’s Gift to the World’ ” (http://rastaites.com).

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Mackie Conscious song hits number one in Florida

Mackie Conscious song hits number one in Florida

After 19 weeks in the Mikey B top 10 chart  on WAVS1170 Radio  in South Florida. Mackie Conscious song "Reggae Music Rise Again" is at the number one position. The music Video is also getting several hits on YouTube and rotation on cable and TV all over the world

Mackie Conscious the rounded musician and prolific song writer never look back since he  burst on the seen in 1997 with the hit single "what if" (from the album of the same name), followed by several songs like “Cell phone on his hip”, “Can’t be a king”, “Should I run”, “Leave the Crumbs alone” (collaboration with Taddy P 2010 Video of the year) just to name a few.

Mr Conscious is set to release one of two new albums titled "Leave The Crumbs " with songs like “Plant some trees”, “Reggae music rise again”, “One day down”, “It’s All Good”, “Too Many Broken Homes  and much more.

"I was born a disciplined child" Mackie's cover of the Jacob Miller's Classic is suddenly getting heavy rotation from several Radio station all over the world. This is obviously since the release of the Chronixx collaboration with inner Circle. The name Jacob Miller is suddenly on the lips of everyone after his death over thirty years ago. Mackie Conscious is one of the few if not the only person to cover a Jacob Miller song. "I WAS BORN A DISCIPLINE CHILD".

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Work to Continue Monday at Moon Palace

KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 28, 2015: Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, has expressed regret at the fire at the Moon Palace Resort in Ocho Rios but has been informed that work on the construction of the property is expected to resume on Monday.

“My information from the management is that the blaze was confined to a small area of the hotel and the cause is still under investigation,” Minister McNeill said. “I am in touch with officials and as soon as a report is available I will issues another statement,” he added.

The landmark property, which was acquired by Mexico’s Palace Resorts in July 2014, is set to be officially reopened as Moon Palace Jamaica Grande this year. Throughout the construction and refurbishing of the property, over 400 staff, formerly employed to Sunset Jamaica Grande, have been kept on the payroll by the company. Some of the staff have received training in Mexico.

“This US$40,000,000 investment will mark Palace Resorts’ first step outside of Mexico and is indicative of the quality new players who are entering the Jamaican market.  I am hopeful their schedule will get back on track soon despite this setback,” said Minister McNeill.

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Caribbean Wellness trailblazer inspiring a new brand of massage therapist

Montego Bay, Jamaica, W.I. (March 22, 2015) Patricia Berry-Greenidge has crisscrossed the Atlantic and Caribbean Seas in her quest to bring ITEC (International Therapy Examination Council) standards to the Caribbean. She began blazing trails as the Principal of Personal Body Healthcare Clinic and School of Holistic Therapies Inc., which is accredited by ITEC and IFPA (International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists).  The first graduating class of PBHC Jamaica, comprising of ten graduates, received their ITEC Holistic Massage diplomas on March 14, 2015 at Sunset Beach Resort & Waterpark, Montego Bay.

Prior to establishing the Clinic & School in 2007, Patricia was a university lecturer,  professional therapist and Spa Consultant in Barbados, teaching Holistic Massage Therapy, Business Professionalism, Reiki and Alternative and Complementary Therapies, to name a few. Having travelled the world, she possesses intimate knowledge of exotic and indigenous spa and wellness therapies and products. She is the mother to a son who is a practicing lawyer, and a grandmother to three boys.

Her contribution to humanity is through teaching her students how to be conscientious, professional and responsible in providing alternative & complementary therapies.   Through her practice and training in holistic massage and alternative healing therapies, she has changed the lives of many. Dudley Malcolm is one such graduate, employed as an ITEC Massage Therapist at Sunset Beach Resort & Waterpark, sponsor of the graduation exercises.

The graduate therapists aware of the tremendous impact this phenomenal woman has made upon them during the course of their study of holistic massage from July 2014 until December 2014, are now charged with the responsibility to provide ITEC professional care and standard for their own clients and students. ITEC graduate, Janet McLeod, CEO at Plantation Soapworks, Jamaica has decided to become an official ITEC trainer, which would facilitate those seeking ITEC accreditation.

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