Friday, September 24, 2010

Affordable wellness is a stress relief

Valley practitioners offer community and individual options

Express Staff Writer

Maria Morris of Nourishing Roots Community Acupuncture performs acupuncture in a group session on Wednesday. Photo by David N. Seelig

Fatigue, stress and worry are common symptoms associated with the recession and with most routines in an active and busy life. Maintaining wellness and health is considered as important as treating chronic health problems. With less bulk in the wallet, sometimes wellness care is often pushed aside or abandoned. But several holistic health options in the Wood River Valley are easy on the finances.

Maria Morris of Nourishing Roots Community Acupuncture has operated her acupuncture clinic for almost a year. Morris has created affordable acupuncture in a communal setting.

"People often feel isolated when in pain or are ashamed of being sick," Morris said. "In a community setting, people are not isolated, and they are in a room of people healing. This type of holistic health care builds community."

Morris has created a comfortable room with low light and cushy reclining chairs. She administers acupuncture treatments on an individual basis and need, even though there could be six people in the room.

"You experience deep relaxation and you take your time," Morris said. "I want people to feel empowered in a group experience. I use needle points to treat every condition, and it's comfortable."

Morris charges on a sliding scale based on what people can afford.

"Everyone experiences stress," she said. "We need to find a healthy way to release stress, and it's wellness."

Wade Port of Lifeworks Chiropractic—A Family Wellness Center, offers group chiropractic sessions. Port has been practicing in the valley for six years. His gentle approach to adjusting the energy systems in his patients is a neurological one.

"I find a resolution to the cause of pain and symptons," Port said. "Pain is the body's way of saying something has to change."

Port treats adults, kids and families. He said group environments are ideal because nervous systems communicate with one another, and that everyone comes as they are to sessions, making it authentic.

"We're all in this together," Port said. "If we choose to invest in ourselves, the body will reward the universe and be in alignment."

Port also works on a sliding scale and said no one is ever denied treatment.

Mary Kay Foley, coordinator for integrative therapies at St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center, said new wellness programs offered by St. Luke's have been catching on, in part because they are affordable.

St. Luke's offers acupuncture, yoga, meditation, a free Brown Bag lecture series on health and wellness, classes about puberty, support groups for cancer and depression screenings.

"We want people to think about the hospital not as a place for being sick," Foley said. "It's a place that promotes prevention and wellness."

Foley said integrative-therapy programs are a trend across the country because they can decrease a patient's length of stay and help patients stay out of the hospital. Foley is leading the hospital's Healing Touch program, designed to promote relaxation, calmness and recovery.

"Healing Touch is energy-based and it works on people's energy fields using a light touch or no touch to get more balance in their systems," Foley said. "We are putting people in a better place for healing. The body does not have to fight so hard to heal."

Certified volunteers administer Healing Touch; many come as often as twice a month to work with hospital in-patients.

Travis Scott also offers holistic wellness, especially in the realm of stress.

"My whole focus is to reorganize someone's body, action, thought and emotions so they don't respond the same way to stress," Scott said. "It's exciting to people when they feel the change. It's a huge difference."

Scott said he will always find a way to make his practice work for people.

"We want people to get care and gain more resources," Scott said. "If you are motivated, I can give tools and you can work on your own."

Scott will lead a free lecture, "Stress-Proof Your Body and Mind," on Monday, Sept. 27, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Blaine County Fitness in Hailey.

If group sessions don't sound appealing, there are many holistic practitioners in the valley to offer holistic healing. Dr. Jody Stanislaw is a naturopathic doctor who offers individualized retreats for stress relief, weight management, spiritual well-being and fitness.

"I'm not going to fix your roof if your foundation is falling down," Stanislaw said. "I like to connect people with their true motivation for change."

Stanislaw is a Type 1 diabetic and understands the importance of wellness and fighting disease. She also provides services on a sliding scale, working with individuals to provide a "retreat" experience. Visit to learn more.

Other entities in the Wood River Valley offer additional affordable health services, ranging from yoga at Hailey Yoga Center, classes at the Y in Ketchum, classes at High Altitude Fitness in Ketchum and Hailey and classes at Blaine County Fitness.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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