At Pittsburgh Alternative Health, friendly staffers join Doctor of Naturopathy Darrell Misak and needle-free acupressure specialist, Dr. Wan Huang to restore and maximize bodily health and mental well-being with holistic treatments. Toxins are expelled during sauna sessions, where infrared light saps contaminants from muscles, and relaxing ionic footbaths, which kiss the feet with gentle electrical charges. Relaxed patrons can glide into a private mental-rest room, where a programmed audio-visual show lures minds into a state of alert relaxation with music, lights, and footage of baby pandas learning to cartwheel. The health center can also aid patients on the road to health with analytic testing. During an EAV test, technicians use a fusion of mechanical methods and ancient acupuncture pressure points to study the body’s energy. The results can pinpoint sensitivities to foods, chemicals, or existentialist poems that may be decreasing energy or causing other health problems.
Though she's been expanding viewers' knowledge and awareness as a news anchor for WPXI Channel 11 for close to 20 years, Darieth Chisolm works to enlighten members of her community in a different way off-camera. Chisolm is an avid runner, a certified group fitness instructor, and the owner of Fullbody Fitness Club, where she encourages exercisers to think outside the plyometric box. Her classes and equipment are anything but conventional—guests experience the sensation of being airborne during Jukari Fit to Fly aerial acrobatics classes—the creation of Reebok and the Cirque du Soleil entertainment group. Patrons hang upside down in fabric hammocks during aerial yoga and whirl around 45mm poles during pole-dance fitness sessions. The rooms are outfitted with thick, padded flooring to protect joints and acoustically muffle the squeals of unbridled, endorphin-driven glee.
To lead students safely through her fitness wonderland, Chisolm has gathered a team of certified instructors to teach proper technique and guide people toward their goals. Her studio has been featured in numerous media, including a 2011 story on her own WPXI and the designation of Best Place to Soar to New Heights from Pittsburgh Magazine in 2012. Chisolm also offers patrons several ways to give back to their favorite nonprofit organizations.
In addition to adjusting spines with manual pressure and assuaging muscle aches with massage, Doctor of Chiropractic Jim Spiropoulos also takes a technological approach to chiropractic care. Spinal decompression gently extends the spine with a steady, gradually increasing force that draws in oxygen-rich blood to alleviate back pain. Cold-light lasers target damaged and scarred internal tissue, promoting cellular turnover without damaging the skin.
Although Anya Lasko began her career as a classically trained dancer and choreographer in Belarus, she was driven to found a studio based on "the three principles of holistic well-being, healthy exercising, and performing arts education." To accomplish this, she and her staff of instructors lead a combination of instructive and recreational classes for all skill and experience levels, helping students develop the physicality required for artistic expression through music and dance.
Dance classes explore a number of different styles—including ballet, belly dance, and hip-hop—and instructors address the needs and learning styles of different age groups by teaching separate lessons for children and adults. For a muscle-toning approach, the fitness sessions can emphasize low-impact workouts with Pilates techniques and ballet barre exercises, whereas yoga classes' mindful movements and guided meditation generate more focus than the Hubble Space Telescope's contact lenses.
Supervised by Ayurvedic physician and healer Dr. Lina Thakar, the specialists at Ayurveda Wellness Center & Holistic Spa reach 5,000 years into the past when administering their Indian therapeutic techniques. The Ayurvedic philosophy centers on the individuality of each person, leading the staff to customize their blends of herbal oils and scents before beginning their Ayurvedic spa treatments. These calming procedures range from steam therapy to massage work, with focuses such as detoxification and healing the mind, body, and spirit. The center also imparts advice on Ayurvedic nutrition and lifestyle options, as well as meditation.
Highly educated trainers—each of whom has a bachelor's or master's degree in exercise science—help clients at bodyXchange fitness tone their bodies and transform their lifestyles with nutrition and exercise programs. Rows of dumbbells weighing 5–135 pounds ring the walls of the 5,000-square-foot gym, where members can swing kettlebells, push sleds, or struggle with a 550-pound tractor tire as well as pumping iron on more conventional Hammer Strength and Icarian strength-training machines. Life Fitness treadmills, stationary bikes, and other cardio equipment populate a separate theater, where wall-hung plasma TVs keep minds busy as bodies sweat and mouths hum the theme to Chariots of Fire.