Gateway Bodyworks owner Lisa Firey believes deeply in the power of holistic treatments, as she has seen remarkable results firsthand. When her beloved dog, Porter, came down with an immune disease, doctors attempted to treat the symptoms with Western medicine. She suspected the medicines were weakening Porter’s immune system, so she began to research alternative methods. Soon she was treating her dog with vitamin C, nasturtium, and dandelion root, as well as massage. This method reenergized Porter and prolonged his life. Impassioned by this discovery, Lisa went on to earn a degree in muscle therapy and is now pursuing a doctorate in natural health.
Today, Lisa employs a staff of 20 experts to practice holistic healing methods. Within her garage-turned-spa space, her team focuses on acupuncture, bodywork, and massage. During reflexology treatments, therapists push pressure points on the feet, relieving stress and removing stuck-on shoe inserts. Acupuncturists treat everything from fatigue to autoimmune disorders and suggest herbal remedies. Alternatively, massage therapists use the long, languid strokes of the Swedish modality, and can also alleviate pain related to sports injuries, pregnancy, and postpregnancy. To round out the center, Lisa also set up a yoga studio with classes such as Hatha, Mommy & Me, and Kundalini.
At Power Yoga Works, winner of the Suburban Yoga category in Philadelphia magazine's Best of Philly 2008, certified instructors guide aspiring yogis of all skill levels in muscle-toning and detoxifying classes. The studio's focus centers around the power Vinyasa style, a modality that combines deep-breathing exercises with sequenced sets of flowing poses to help to build strength, increase flexibility, release tension, and purge the mind of distracting heavy-metal guitar riffs. Fledgling flexers receive a proper introduction to the fundamentals during four-week beginners courses that teach body alignment and come with a complimentary yoga mat. The schedule boasts copious classes and meeting times, helping students to salute the egotistical sun seven days a week. A warm, spacious studio allows up to 65 students at a time to stretch and bend without disrupting their neighbors' wingspans.
When women find a fun new fitness class, they talk. Which is lucky for Aerobic Rhythmics, since it was primarily word-of-mouth that caused the aerobic workout to spread throughout 20 schools in Montgomery and Bucks counties, community buildings, and church locations since the first class in 1980. Instructors lead them through engaging, high-energy routines with nothing but resistance bands, hand weights, and mats, which produces lasting results.