Lifetree Clinic's licensed acupuncturist, Junghyun Park, attempts to take some of the mystery out of acupuncture by thoroughly answering questions about the ancient practice on his website. He explains in depth how most clients feel while he is inserting the hair-thin needles, as well as how they feel after the needles have been in for a while. Instead of guaranteeing that acupuncture can solve any ailment, Park explains that, like Western medicine treatments and pleated pants, acupuncture may not work for everyone.
In addition to using acupuncture—which can alleviate problems such as digestive disorders, lower-back pain, and facial wrinkles—Park also relies on Chinese herbs, tui na massage, and cupping to improve health.
Licensed massage therapist Kellys Jimenez eases aches and pains with therapeutic massages that target the full body or localized areas of pain. Kellys can also help patients lose weight and inches with ultrasonic lipo cavitation weight-loss treatments that use ultrasound waves to break up fat cells. The massage therapist works out of B Balanced Integrative Medicine, a group of doctors and licensed therapists who specialize in wellness services that aim to balance the mind, body, and spirit; services include acupuncture, reiki, and homeopathy.
At B Balanced Integrative Medicine, acupuncturist Carmen Gomez inserts hair-thin needles into key points on her patients' physiques, helping energy to flow freely through their bodies. This traditional form of Chinese medicine can alleviate a variety of ailments; Carmen is especially skilled at catalyzing weight loss and BMI reduction in her sessions.
Synergy Wellness Clinic founder Doctor of Chiropractic Gustavo Marshall’s experiences with traditional organized medicine left him disappointed, noting that it felt like “looking at the trees, rather than the whole forest.” So the licensed chiropractor assembled a team of heathcare practitioners who could work together to address the whole person, rather than just his or her symptoms. “Here, we’re always looking at the body from the standpoint of the whole forest,” he says.
When Dr. Marshall meets with new patients, he considers a variety of factors, such as their living environment, sleep habits, nutrition, and frequency of hot-coal walks. Then, he may pair his own chiropractic techniques with massage therapy or nutritional counseling. And if his own clinic doesn’t have the resources his patients need, he’s happy to recommend additional practitioners to help them on their path to wellness.
Dr. Marshall also recognizes that, regardless of his client’s ailment, stress can be a huge barrier to recovery. So he strives to establish his clinic as a refuge from the urban bustle. During massages, for instance, therapists ensconce patients in private treatment rooms equipped with flickering candles, memory-foam tables, and soothing music. They also draw upon aromatherapy to deepen relaxation.
Angel Orozco is as well traveled as he is knowledgeable—not that the two qualities developed separately. The licensed massage therapist and board-certified holistic health counselor has learned ancient healing techniques from teachers in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India. Along with his licensed staff, he incorporates those lessons into spa and wellness treatments at BodySense. The result is that the center offers an impressive range of massage styles—20 total in fact—from Thai and postpartum to a honey body massage that exfoliates skin with lemon and caraway-enriched honey.
The rest of BodySense's service menu is a hybrid of Western and Eastern approaches. Acupuncture sits side by side with a treatment that combines medical massage and electrotherapy. Gerard's organic skincare products power facial treatments such as the caviar and soy facials. To help clients control the most important factor influencing their health besides whether or not they're napping in a catapult with a rusty old safety, BodySense creates custom weight-loss programs, which provide participants with nutritional counseling, massages, body treatments, and exercise classes.
As an 11-year-old girl, Doctor of Chiropractic Wendy Gallego was diagnosed with scoliosis. The painful curvature in her spine immediately began to interfere with her life, forcing her to drop out of gymnastics and wear a back brace. After years of chronic discomfort, a college friend suggested that she visit a chiropractor, and she finally began to find relief from her symptoms. More importantly, she was inspired by her chiropractor's whole-body approach to wellness, which emphasized nutrition and lifestyle as well as treatment. This drove her to become a chiropractor herself while formulating the philosophy that "people should not be perceived as separately functioning parts, but rather as a complex structure of interdependent systems." By founding Shin Wellness, she sought to create a holistic health care center that addressed physical as well as mental health.
Embracing Western and Eastern treatment modalities, Dr. Gallego looks for instructors and therapists with more than technical proficiency and a photographic recollection of the periodic table. She claims that "there's a quality that comes with being a healer," and she looks for that passion in all her prospective employees, whether they will be performing massages, conducting hypnotherapy sessions, or leading Pilates classes.