Wellness Center: Holistic One-Stop

December 13, 2004
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GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP — With the overeating that many do during the holidays and the stress that this time of year can add, there is a new way for people to manage their weight and a successful way for them to quit smoking.

Both methods are offered by Holistic Care Approach.

Holistic Care Approach, at 3368 Beltline Court NE, between Four and Five Mile roads, is an alternative wellness clinic that has been in business for six years. Barb Meconis has owned the business for the past year, having bought it from her sister last year after completing a 32-year nursing career in public health and acute care.

Meconis said the center was founded on the belief that achieving wellness from within is key to a person’s overall well-being. To that end, Holistic Care has massage, craniosacral and energy therapists on staff, along with acupuncturists, a hypnotherapist, a naturopathic physician, a personal trainer and nutrition counselors.

“What we provide here are services that are very unique, because in one wellness center someone can receive acupuncture, hypnotherapy, craniosacral work, eight different kinds of massage and neuromuscular work,” said Meconis.

“And we do skin care, with all the nutritional products, with our programs, and someone can receive it all in a one-stop shop,” she added. “So, to me, that sets us apart and makes us unique.”

Holistic Care has 2,000 clients using its services. Its weight management is the clinic’s newest and the smoking cessation program is among its most successful. Meconis relied on her nursing background to create both, and both involve a holistic approach.

As for the weight management program, the first step for someone is to meet with Meconis and together they form a personal plan.

“So we’re doing something with them and not to them,” she said. “In part of that care plan, we offer nutricutical support using amino acids to help decrease the depression that surrounds overweight people and to help them with the cravings for food.”

Then Meconis said she integrates some of the center’s other offerings into a person’s plan and these include diet counseling, whole-food-based nutritional support, hypnotherapy and acupuncture. Hypnotherapy helps someone with the emotional issues of being too heavy, while acupuncture tames the urgings to eat, she said.

“We just started the program this month. We’ve only got a handful of folks in it, so it’s too early to say (if it’s a success). Those in it are very happy so far. They’re starting to lose weight and they feel good about the approach. It’s non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical, and it gets at some of the underlying psychological issues,” said Meconis.

Non-smokers might not know this, but smoking helps smokers handle stress. Holistic Care has had its cessation program in place for two years now, and has had a 90 percent success rate among those who have committed to quitting.

Meconis combines acupuncture and hypnotherapy into the stop-smoking effort and the length of the program can be as short as a week. For someone who is serious about quitting, often only one hypnotherapy session is needed to eliminate the desire to smoke, and, as with the weight management, acupuncture reduces the yearnings to light up.

“If we add acupuncture to that, generally we produce results in two to four sessions. It helps with the emotional and physical cravings for nicotine. So when you combine the two, a couple of sessions of acupuncture with one session of hypnotherapy, that is where we get a 90 percent success rate,” said Meconis.

Holistic Care Approach is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The center also offers classes in yoga and pilates, a rigorous, floor-mat exercise imported from Eastern Europe. It provides a practioner with better posture flexibility and strength, but not bulk. Meconis said pilates classes are especially important for an aging population that is naturally losing bone mass.

“It’s a different offering for people,” she said, “and I think that helps make us unique.”    

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