Integrated Health Opportunities

Acupuncture: Lynn Carstens

Acupuncture  dates back for over 5000 years as one of the oldest medical procedures in the world and can be used to treat a broad range of conditions by encouraging the body to cure itself.

Acupuncture is the procedure of inserting and manipulating needles into various points on the body to relieve pain, to stimulate the immune system  or for many other therapeutic purposes.  The nerves of the skin are stimulated by the penetration of these needles at anatomic points known as acupoints.  Natural painkillers called endorphins and serotonin are released in the pain pathway to the brain and spinal cord; thus reducing the pain signals in the body.

The Chinese refer to the energy that travels throughout the body as Qi ( pronounced chee).  Traditional Western science refers to it as innate or life force.  Qi is an energy force that flows through the meridians similar to the way blood flows through arteries and veins.  Like the nutrients in blood and the energy that flows through nerves, the body cannot live in a balanced state without the proper flow of Qi.  Blockage of Qi can cause illness just as blockage of the flow of blood and/or nerve impulses can cause illness.

Essential Oil Therapy: Helen Buckley, Lynn Carstens, Erin Seymour

Aromatherapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses volatile plant materials, known as essential oils, and other aromatic compounds for the purpose of altering a person’s mood, cognitive function or health. Three techniques are offered.  With the Raindrop Technique essential oils are dropped like “raindrops” along the spine.  This helps to relieve muscular tension and stress in the body as it also energizes, detoxifies and balances electrical frequency of the body. Emotional Release Technique involves the step by step application of many oils for the purpose of unlocking emotional traumas that may have been stored in cellular memory for years.  Neuro-Auricular Technique applies oils directly to the spinal column and occipital ridge to help replace nerve functions from the brain to the spinal cord and all organs and tissues.  It helps alleviate back pain and sciatica as well.   The effectiveness of aromatherapy is yet to be scientifically proven, however some evidence exists that essential oils may have therapeutic potential.

Channeling: Carl Davis, Toni Winninger and Robert Dubiel as well as other Guests 

come annually – see calendar for details

Channeling is a way of  opening one’s higher consciousness in order to communicate with one’s angels and guides by “channeling” their energy in words that can be communicated through a person skilled and trained in such a way.  While everyone  has the ability to communicate with their higher consciousness, the practitioner in this field has worked to develop this skill.  In addition, the type of sense used to do their work varies from person to person.  They may be proficient in one or many of the following: they may see, hear or intuitively know what messages are being communicated.

The practitioner may relate information that is helpful in a person’s healing, life purpose or life issues.  You will find that each one has his/ her own style, with different types of information to communicate.

Chakra Clearing:  Angel and Steve Lyle, Paula Parrella, Rochel Rittgers

Play Therapy: Candice Kundert LISW

“Play Therapy is an approach to communicating therapeutically with clients using toys, art materials, games and other play media, giving clients a safe and nurturing relationship in which they can explore and express feelings, gain insight into their own motivation and into their interactions with others, and learn and practice socially appropriate behaviors.  The counseling in play therapy uses the natural language of children-play as the basis for the therapeutic interaction.  In the play, much of what the child does and says takes the form of symbolic, metaphoric communication about her relationships and situations in the child’s world.” Eliana Gill

“According to the National Association for Play Therapy (1997), play therapy is the ‘systematic use of a theoretical model to establish the interpersonal process in which trained play therapists use the therapeutic powers of play to help clients prevent or resolve psychological difficulties and achieve optimal growth and development’.  Play therapy is usually used as an intervention approach for working with young children who lack the abstract verbal abilities to articulate their difficulties clearly enough to receive support and assistance from counselors.  This strategy seems to work with children experiencing a broad range of difficulties.  The Alderian play therapist uses the play therapy process to help children gain a better understanding of how they view themselves, others, and the world and learn new attitudes to replace self-defeating attitudes.”  By Dr. Terry Kottman, in “Partners in Play:An Alderian Approach to Play Therapy, 2003, second edition, published by the American Counseling Association.

CranioSacral Therapy: Lionel Bowen

The essential parts of the CranioSacral system  are the cerebral spinal fluid, nourishing and cushioning the brain and spinal cord, the membrane enclosing this fluid and the bones the membrane is bonded to.  The fluid has its own internal rhythm which may be negatively influenced by stresses and strains distorting the surrounding membrane.  The gentle touch approach restores a more even, smoother rhythm in this fluid which is reflected throughout the body as enhanced vitality and equilibrium.  CranioSacral Therapy is known for its light touch, lighter than massage.  In general, the lighter the touch, the deeper the effect.  It sounds self-contradictory but this approach avoids the instinctive reaction of the body to either fight against or shrink away from the intrusions of more aggressive therapies.

Journey Drumming:

“Journey Drumming is an ancient approach that uses rhythm to promote healing and self-expression;” explains Michael Drake.  Treated as a form of meditation, journey drumming is a way of “traveling” into one’s self in order to develop and enhance one’s connection to self, one’s surroundings, the earth and cosmos; in addition to the past, present and future.

Life Coaching: Candice Kundert

A transformational coach bridges the gap between where you are and where you want to be; helping you to stay focused on your goals.  A life coach encourages you to take action, provides honest feedback and gives you excercizes to integrate your learning.  These sessions are typically one hour long in person or over the phone, are held once a week and typically carry over the course of 7 weeks.

Massage Therapy: Toni Cepican, Erin Seymour

Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body…Generally, massage is known to affect the circulation of blood and the flow of blood and lymph, reduce muscular tension or flaccidity, affect the nervous system through stimulation or sedation, and enhance tissue healing. These effects provide a number of benefits:

  • reduction of muscle tension and stiffness
  • relief of muscle spasms
  • greater flexibility and range of motion
  • increase of the ease and efficiency of movement
  • relief of stress and aide of relaxation
  • promotion of deeper and easier breathing
  • improvement of the circulation of blood and movement of lymph
  • relief of tension-related conditions, such as headaches and eyestrain
  • promotion of faster healing of soft tissue injuries, such as pulled muscles and sprained ligaments, and reduction in pain and swelling related to such injuries
  • reduction in the formation of excessive scar tissue following soft tissue injuries
  • enhancement in the health and nourishment of skin
  • improvement in posture through changing tension patterns that affect posture
  • reduction in stress and an excellent stress management tool
  • creation of a feeling of well-being
  • reduction in levels of anxiety
  • increase in awareness of the mind-body connection
  • promotion of a relaxed state of mental awareness
Massage therapy also has a number of documented clinical benefits. For example, massage can reduce anxiety, improve pulmonary function in young asthma patients, reduce psycho-emotional distress in persons suffering from chronic inflammatory bowel disease, increase weight and improve motor development in premature infants, and may enhance immune system functioning. Some medical conditions that massage therapy can help are: allergies, anxiety and stress, arthritis, asthma and bronchitis, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries, chronic and temporary pain, circulatory problems, depression, digestive disorders, tension headache, insomnia, myofascial pain, sports injuries, and temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
OriginsMassage therapy is one of the oldest health care practices known to history. References to massage are found in Chinese medical texts more than 4,000 years old. Massage has been advocated in Western health care practices at least since the time of Hippocrates, the “Father of Medicine.” In the fourth century B.C. Hippocrates wrote, “The physician must be acquainted with many things and assuredly with rubbing” (the ancient Greek term for massage was rubbing).The roots of modern, scientific massage therapy go back to Per Henrik Ling (1776–1839), a Swede, who developed an integrated system consisting of massage and active and passive exercises. Ling established the Royal Central Gymnastic Institute in Sweden in 1813 to teach his methods.Modern, scientific massage therapy was introduced in the United States in the 1850s by two New York physicians, brothers George and Charles Taylor, who had studied in Sweden. The first clinics for massage therapy in the United States were opened by two Swedish physicians after the Civil War period. Doctor Baron Nils Posse operated the Posse Institute in Boston and Doctor Hartwig Nissen opened the Swedish Health Institute near the Capitol in Washington, D.C.Although there were periods when massage fell out of favor, in the 1960s it made a comeback in a different way as a tool for relaxation, communication, and alternative healing. Today, massage is one of the most popular healing modalities. It is used by conventional, as well as alternative, medical communities and is now covered by some health insurance plans.Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues and consists of a group of manual techniques that include applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, and/or causing movement of or to the body. While massage therapy is applied primarily with the hands, sometimes the forearms or elbows are used. These techniques affect the muscular, skeletal, circulatory, lymphatic, nervous, and other systems of the body. The basic philosophy of massage therapy embraces the concept of vis Medicatrix naturae, which is aiding the ability of the body to heal itself, and is aimed at achieving or increasing health and well-being.Touch is the fundamental medium of massage therapy. While massage can be described in terms of the type of techniques performed, touch is not used solely in a mechanistic way in massage therapy. One could look at a diagram or photo of a massage technique that depicts where to place one’s hands and what direction the stroke should go, but this would not convey everything that is important for giving a good massage. Massage also has an artistic component.Because massage usually involves applying touch with some degree of pressure and movement, the massage therapist must use touch with sensitivity in order to determine the optimal amount of pressure to use for each person. For example, using too much pressure may cause the body to tense up, while using too little may not have enough effect. Touch used with sensitivity also allows the massage therapist to receive useful information via his or her hands about the client’s body, such as locating areas of muscle tension and other soft tissue problems. Because touch is also a form of communication, sensitive touch can convey a sense of caring—an essential element in the therapeutic relationship—to the person receiving massage.In practice, many massage therapists use more than one technique or method in their work and sometimes combine several. Effective massage therapists ascertain each person’s needs and then use the techniques that will meet those needs best.

Swedish massage uses a system of long gliding strokes, kneading, and friction techniques on the more superficial layers of muscles, generally in the direction of blood flow toward the heart, and sometimes combined with active and passive movements of the joints. It is used to promote general relaxation, improve circulation and range of motion, and relieve muscle tension. Swedish massage is the most commonly used form of massage.

Deep tissue massage is used to release chronic patterns of muscular tension using slow strokes, direct pressure, or friction directed across the grain of the muscles. It is applied with greater pressure and to deeper layers of muscle than Swedish, which is why it is called deep tissue and is effective for chronic muscular tension.

Sports massage uses techniques that are similar to Swedish and deep tissue, but are specially adapted to deal with the effects of athletic performance on the body and the needs of athletes regarding training, performing, and recovery from injury.

Neuromuscular massage is a form of deep massage that is applied to individual muscles. It is used primarily to release trigger points (intense knots of muscle tension that refer pain to other parts of the body), and also to increase blood flow. It is often used to reduce pain. Trigger point massage and myotherapy are similar forms.

Acupressure applies finger or thumb pressure to specific points located on the acupuncture meridians (channels of energy flow identified in Asian concepts of anatomy) in order to release blocked energy along these meridians that causes physical discomforts, and re-balance the energy flow. Shiatsu is a Japanese form of acupressure.”Taken from the American Massgae Therapy Association, 820 Davis St., Ste 100, Evanston, IL

Multiple Practitioner Intensive Approach: Candice Kundert, Lionel Bowen, Rona Galica, Rochel Rittgers, Paula Parrella

This technique is a hands-on therapeutic technique exclusive to the Healing Heart Center.  It takes advantage of the synergy of two or more holistic modalities in each session.  This unique approach combines and integrates several energy healing approaches with a group of devoted therapists who possess a variety of skills and expertise.

Nutritional Counseling: Rochel Rittgers

This approach offers an in depth assessment of your personal health history and current concerns, followed by a personalized recommendation of whole food nutrition which may include supplements and specific dietary suggestions.

Spring Forest Qigong: Rochel Rittgers, Master Healer and Certified Instructor

What is Spring Forest Qigong?

Spring Forest Qigong (pr0nounced “chee gong”) is a simple, efficient, and effective method for helping you

  • Manage and reduce stress
  • Heal physical and emotional pain
  • Enhance the quality of your life and the lives of others

In Chinese, Qi or Chi means “air” or “breath”, the universal life force that is in all things.  Gong is defined as “work” with that universal energy.  Qigong is an ancient Chinese healing philosophy that utilizes the invisible energy system called the meridian system.   The  philosophy of Qigong centers around opening the channels of the meridian system so the universal energy can move without restriction.   When the channels are open, and blockages are dissipated, the body knows how to heal itself.  Qigong has proven effective in the prevention and cure of many diseases.

At The Healing Heart Center, Spring Forest is the form of Qigong used.  It is an advanced, simple and powerful form developed by International Qigong Master, Master Chunyi Lin.  As an ancient healing methodology, Qigong can “ease pain, disease and sickness at amazing speeds!” its practitioners say. In SFQigong a person’s “vital energy” is activated and enhanced by improving movement of and balancing that energy.  Recent research at the Mayo Clinic showed reduction of chronic pain through the use of SFQigong healing techniques.

The SFQ method

  • Increases oxygen uptake for stronger muscles
  • Soothes your nervous system so you feel content and serene
  • Improves your metabolism, digestion, and your elimination
  • Aides in weight control, a youthful appearance, and balanced energy
  • Gives your organs an “inner message” to retard the aging process by restoring them to healthy, optimal functioning
  • Clears your mind for greater mental clarity and creativity
  • Lubricates your joints for pain-free movement and greater flexibility

Spring Forest Qi~ssage: Rochel Rittgers

Spring Forest Qi~ssage  (chee – ssage) is a technique of Qigong developed by international Qigong Master Chunyi Lin that uses a hand-on approach.  Specific meridian points within the body are powerful points involved in healing.  A Qi~ssage healing opens and frees many of the key meridian points in the body. This enables the life force energy to flow free and enhances healing of the total body.

Reflexology: Helen Buckley, Lynn Carstens

Reflexology is a holistic approach to applying thumb and finger pressure to specific areas on the foot or hand stimulating the body to create homeostatic balance.  There are nerve endings in our hands and feet that correspond to organs and other parts of the body.  When reflex areas are worked on, the body responds.  The working of hands and feet dates back thousands of years to ancient Egypt.  In Great Britain, Reflexology is provided in the National Health Service.  Denmark and Japan both incorporate Reflexology in their employee health programs.

Reiki: Rona Galica, Therese Guise, Paula Parrella

Reiki is a Japanese form of energy healing.  Rei= universal, Ki= life energy (pronounced ray-key).  It can be used to facilitate healing on a variety of levels including physical, emotional, mental or spiritual.  During a Reiki session, the practitioner allows the universal life energy to flow through them and into their client.  Reiki is a perfect compliment to other holisitc and traditional healing methods, and is not meant to replace treatment from a physician but rather to enhance it.

Dr. Mikao Usui brought Reiki to the Western world in the early 20th century and it is believed to have originated thousands of years ago.

Shamanic Energy Healing:  Angel and Steve Lyle, Rona Galica

By balancing the chakras; energy is put back into balance and blockages are removed.  This modality also investigates the root emotional causes for various issues for the client.  Shamanic energy healing can also help to re-integrate fragmented aspects of self that may split due to trauma; and it can empower and protect the client through the retrieval of  spirit helpers or power animals.

Spiritual Counseling: Candice Kundert, Rochel Rittgers

For those that desire to explore their spirituality but have questions about spiritual modalities and how they would integrate with their current beliefs.  The practitioner have a diverse background from studying and exploring many types of spiritual teachings, philosophies, metaphysics and types of meditation with special interests in integrating science with spirituality and finding similarities among the many spiritual teachings around the world. These inclusive perspectives provide a foundation for exploring your questions in a non-judgmental and supportive environment with the goal of helping you to find a path that suits your present perspective and desires.

Gentle Yoga: Meg Bolich, Anna Kronenberger

Gentle Yoga is an attempt to teach the entire body to relax in whatever position it is in.  The theory is that if the body has no stress, it will have no disease.  Gentle yoga emphasizes proper breathing and postural alignment through various stretching and relaxation exercises. One learns how to become aware of tensions and how it affects ones whole existence. Once awareness is achieved, one can then begin to release tension from the body and mind, creating calmness, thus moving toward a healthier state of mind and body.

Breathing is an integral part of yoga.  Respiration is the most important function of the body.  It is the source of all energy and life. Each inhalation is coordinated to help the muscles contract and relax.  Proper breathing can calm as well as revitalize the entire body. Through deep breathing the body takes in more oxygen and eliminates greater amounts of carbon dioxide. Breath is a sensitive indicator of changes in cognitive patterns and feeling tones.  When a person becomes aware of the disruption of the breathing patterns, it follows that teaching one to keep their breath even, many of the stress related symptoms abate.