At The Birch Center for Health, acupuncturist David Sokulski uses the skills that he mastered at New England School of Acupuncture— the oldest acupuncture school in the United States. He delicately inserts hair-thin needles into predetermined spots across the body, stimulating the flow of energy to treat ailments such as fertility issues, depression, and physical pain. He also practices cosmetic acupuncture, a technique that increases circulation to restore a healthy glow to the skin. Birch branches and miniature smiling Buddhas adorn their peaceful studio.
The team of chiropractors and alternative health care specialists at Kukurin Chiropractic vanquish pain without the use of medicine or invasive surgery. To do so, they rely on a range of holistic treatments intended to spur the body into self-healing mode. Acupuncturist reroute nerve impulses with the strategic placement of needles, massage therapists promote circulation with therapeutic pressures, and chiropractors push discs into more healthy positions with gentle, safe adjustments.
As a Vietnam veteran, Ellen Ona, L.Ac., is no stranger to physical and emotional pain. She served as a medic and surgical scrub technician in the U.S. Army, and after graduating from the esteemed Pacific College of Oriental Medicine and traveling to Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China to study Chinese herbal medicine, Ona went on to become a licensed practitioner and a nationally board-certified diplomat of Oriental medicine. She utilizes her extensive training to treat a wide variety of conditions with 2,500-year-old traditional Chinese medicine techniques. Ona performs acupuncture treatments and dispenses Chinese herbs to address stress, chronic pain, or the inability to ferret out Magic Eye images. As a gesture of goodwill and support, Ona offers complimentary treatments—including the "Battle Field Acupuncture Protocol"—to other vets suffering from back, neck, or joint pain or post-traumatic stress disorder.
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.
Evolve Wellness Spa's licensed staff of aestheticians helps flagging physiques replenish their pep with an array of holistic services. Begin a revitalizing afternoon with the Primal Relaxation massage ($70), marked by rhythmic strokes with light-to-medium pressure designed to roll over muscle groups, whisk away worries, and expel lingering fears of cattle-robbing chupacabras. Once the body goes limp from hip to neck, Evolve Wellness Spa's resident staffers then apply a barrage of natural and organic skincare products to the face, all in an effort to balance and purify the smooth epidermal surface ($80).
From the reclining chair, guests gaze at the cutout in the ceiling that reveals twinkling stars as they take in deep breaths of oceanside air. But this isn't a nighttime visit to the beach—instead, guests are relaxing within Peace Love & Zen Holistic Wellness Center's salt cave, an intimate room lined with bricks of Himalayan salt. The salt diffuses into the air and is inhaled into the lungs, where it aids in respiratory problems with its 84 trace minerals.