Though Alex Tuggle had been receiving alternative healing treatments such as acupuncture and qi gong from his mother since early childhood, he had no idea how drastically those techniques would later change his life. At the age of 12, Tuggle was hit by a car while rollerblading without a protective helmet. He was unconscious as medical personnel rushed him to the UCLA emergency room with a serious head injury and a broken left ankle. After days in intensive care, Tuggle went home wearing a cast stretching from his hip to his foot. In the years that followed, he began to feel intense pressure in his head and stiffness in his neck; a chiropractor told him that his hips were completely out of alignment and that he had severe scoliosis. He tried chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and biofeedback therapy without noticeable results. But after continuously practicing qi-gong exercises and getting regular acupuncture treatments and deep-tissue shiatsu massages, Tuggle's muscles began to loosen. He also made dietary changes, avoiding sugar and alcohol and nourishing his body with Chinese herbs. Eventually, his mind and nervous system recovered from the trauma caused by the accident.
Tuggle harnessed the lessons learned during his dramatic recovery and decided to share them with others. He went on to become a licensed acupuncturist and earned his master of science degree in traditional Chinese medicine from Yo San University in Los Angeles. At Golden Wellness Center, he helps heal patients with the same holistic processes that gave him his life back. Together with massage therapist April Hairell, Tuggle addresses chronic pain and adrenal fatigue with hands-on and energy-based massage modalities such as shiatsu and medical qi gong. In addition to acupuncture and herbal therapy, Tuggle offers hair-analysis services to determine a person's heavy-metal toxicity or likelihood of winning a Shirley Temple look-alike contest.
Rise Chiropractic & Fitness's staff balance their serious fitness regimens with a laid-back studio setting that resembles a coffee shop. Inside, health and fitness professionals lead sociable group classes that introduce beginning and advanced Pilates techniques, TRX fusion workouts, and boot camps. Personal trainers whip clients into shape during private sessions, and massage therapists relax backs by massaging them, using chiropractic techniques, or by hiring an audiobook narrator to read the newspaper to them.
Mei Yao of May’s Body & Skin Care Spa can fight blemishes on both sides of the world, since she's earned licensing in aesthetics in both the U.S. and China during her 20 year career. Today, she makes over bodies with high-tech services including LED photo facials, permanent-makeup applications, and deep pore cleanses. She also distributes Rosemiss products, which are as hard to find as John Wilkes Booth's indie band demo.
The stakes are undoubtedly high. At the current rate of donation, more than 30% of people on the National Organ Transplant Waiting List will never get the organs they need. California Transplant Donor Network aims to change that by educating people and raising awareness. They also put boots on the ground, facilitating organ and tissue donation by offering assistance to 175 hospitals in California and Nevada. In addition to their donation work, the network holds events such as 5Ks to raise funds and invites families of donors to contribute memories to the Donor Memorial Quilt Project.
At BodySculptMD, Dr. Janice Vaughn focuses on women's health by addressing the mind, body, and spirit from the cells up. She offers medical and weight-loss services including bioidentical hormone therapy, metabolic testing, and customized weight-loss programs to reeducate bodily systems and prevent or reverse cell breakdown. To enhance outsides, Dr. Vaughn also performs noninvasive aesthetic procedures with devices such as ReFirme, VelaShape, and Zerona. The laser- or radiofrequency-based treatments are designed to tighten skin and reduce fat and cellulite, and, like the best power naps, require little to no downtime.
In Sanskrit, the word “niroga” means “freedom from disease.” Staying true to their business' namesake, the instructors and healers at Niroga Yoga Studio strive to guide students down a path of mental, physical, and spiritual healing. The aforementioned path takes on a literal form in the palatial exercise space—students lie on mats beside a path formed in the floorboards that leads to an image of a blossoming lotus. Beneath spheres of soft light, teachers walk about to offer modifications for poses or inspirational shadow puppets. They hold classes that are meditative, therapeutic, or fitness oriented, and regularly offer separate workshops on stress management and the physiological benefits of yoga practice. There are also yoga therapists and massage therapists that can further aid in healing and finding peace of mind.
The nonprofit Niroga Institute, which specializes in transforming the lives of incarcerated youth, underserved high-school students, and cancer survivors, operates Niroga Yoga Studio.
At Bay Area Bodywork, Tia Monroe applies the knowledge she gleaned while attending the National Holistic Institute. Before she opened her own practice, she honed her skills at fitness centers and spas. Today, this certified massage therapist soothes aches and subdues stress with her own unique blend of Swedish, shiatsu, and deep-tissue techniques. Her therapeutic massage sessions combine Swedish and deep-tissue strokes, and her aromatherapy massages blend the aforementioned modalities with essential oils to invigorate the senses. Tia also warms up basalt river stones before using them in hot-stone massages that loosen curmudgeonly knots caused by the words of unlovable curmudgeons.