Frequently Asked Questions

What is integrative healthcare?

Integrative Healthcare is a cohesive and multifaceted approach to your wellness journey. We offer several health and healing services at the Pursue Wellness Integrative Health Center and Spa that include functional medicine, functional nutrition, massage, mental health care, Reiki, 3-in-1 infrared sauna, infrared BioMat therapy, and yoga to foster your path to vitality. Upon request, we can offer referrals to additional providers outside of Pursue Wellness, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical therapy.

What is functional medicine?

Functional medicine is the future of healthcare because it doesn’t just put out fires, it prevents them. Instances of chronic health issues have risen dramatically in recent years and their prevalence has overwhelmed our healthcare system. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, autoimmune disease, cancer, anxiety/depression, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), thyroid disease, and environmental diseases from tickborne infections, mold, and heavy metals toxicities are all examples of chronic health issues that can be managed and treated through the integrative lens of functional medicine. 

The goal of a functional approach is to restore wellness and regain optimal function of the whole body, no matter the issue you are experiencing. As functional medicine practitioners, we promote wellness by focusing on the fundamental underlying factors that influence every patient’s experience of health and disease. We often work side-by-side with your current healthcare providers to advocate on your behalf since we are not considered primary care providers. 

In functional medicine, we like to say that you have “issues with your tissues” that can ultimately be reversed or managed when looking upstream for the root cause. No longer are we looking for just a disease diagnosis that is a permanent condition. We do more than labeling a condition as a disease and we are unaccepting that unknown conditions can be left unanswered. We look deeper into a patient’s symptoms, background, environment, nutrition, lifestyle, and habits, and offer a holistic wellness plan that is actionable and personalized. The integrative journey to wellness also utilizes results from certain labs and functional testing that differs from what the fragmented model of traditional medicine can offer. Your personalized wellness plan is then developed exclusively for you and includes the tools to make lifelong changes that will help you restore your health and take back control of your wellness.

What is functional nutrition and how is it different than conventional approaches?

Functional nutrition uses a food as medicine approach to restore balance in the body, heal the gut, reduce inflammation, and replenish micronutrient deficiencies. Since each person is unique, we provide personalized nutrition guidance based on your lab results, genetics, lifestyle, food sensitivities, and preferences. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wellness or meal plan in functional nutrition. Each plan is designed to first be achievable, but also so that it meets your body’s needs, reduces your symptoms, and renews your health. 

While conventional nutrition therapy provides recommendations that are centric to a specific disease state, functional nutrition uses a whole-body approach to optimize health by providing targeted recommendations to address the root cause of a symptom with the uniqueness of each individual in mind.

Does Pursue Wellness replace the need for a primary care provider?

We are not primary care providers and our model at Pursue Wellness does not treat acute illness or provide annual physicals.

What type of visits are available at Pursue Wellness?

Virtual or in-person visits are available depending on circumstances and preferences. In some cases, you may be required to establish care in-person for the first visit. Virtual visits include phone or HIPAA compliant video calls. All consults with the registered dietitian will be conducted virtually.

Do you accept health insurance for functional medicine and nutrition care?

We offer comprehensive and thorough care, and do not accept health insurance as a form of payment. We never want to base treatment options simply on your insurance coverage because it does not allow us the opportunity to adequately dedicate the time and resources necessary to support you and your health concerns.

If requested, we can provide you with a ‘superbill’ to capture the billing codes for services received at Pursue Wellness. It is the individual’s responsibility to submit all claims to insurance companies for deductibles, accruals to health spending accounts, and reimbursement.

What forms of payment do you accept?

All consults with practitioners are payable using a credit card through our electronic medical record platform. Pursue Wellness does not accept checks or cash for consults with Cindy and Kerah. 

Payment for use of our spa’s infrared sauna and infrared BioMat therapy, and all yoga classes are payable through our online scheduler, Vagaro. All spa appointments for yoga classes must be booked and paid for prior to the scheduled start time. Walk-ins are discouraged. Check or cash payments are not accepted at the Pursue Wellness Integrative Health Center and Spa. 

Independent private practitioners at the Pursue Wellness Integrative Health Center and Spa utilize their own payment methods. Please contact them separately to discuss acceptable forms of payment.

What are the 3-in-1 infrared sauna and infrared BioMat therapy used for?

Both the infrared sauna and the infrared BioMat treatments provide deep penetration to improve circulation, immunity and detoxification. The sauna also provides an additional benefit of the near infrared treatment for skin rejuvenation anti-aging. 

Important benefits from sauna therapy will assist in Lyme Disease, heavy metals toxicity, and mold illness recoveries by improving detoxification through active perspiration and enhanced circulation. Treatments with the infrared sauna and infrared BioMat are also designed to reduce stress, heighten relaxation, and improve sleep. 

Sauna therapy is also encouraged for inclusion in methods for weight loss because it elevates heart rate, burns calories, and purges toxins through sweat that otherwise would continue to be recirculated throughout the body.

What is a Yoga Wall? Why You Should Use It?

The Great Yoga Wall can be an important tool for both advancing your practice and correcting underlying imbalances that result in injuries and chronic pain.

The Yoga Wall was originally developed by B.K.S. Iyengar who used it as a prop to either support or intensify the effects of Asana Practice.  He named the use of ropes “Yoga Karunta” which means “Yoga Puppetry”.

The Great Yoga Wall can offer a feeling of security and also allow a participant to experience the benefits of a posture without straining. By using gravity as a natural form of resistance, the Wall allows you to safely create space, release tension, and stretching of the entire muscular skeletal system using a system of straps and harnesses.

Practicing on The Great Yoga Wall is especially beneficial for spinal health. The straps and harnesses provide traction and decompression of the vertebral column. Adding inversions to your practice helps nourish the organs, improves lymphatic flow, soothes the nervous system, and quiets the mind.

The Wall enables beginners and those with functional alignment issues to learn and experience correct postural alignment. Added benefits include building strength and stability in weaker areas without straining, and allows focus on the breath. For those more advanced in their yoga practice, The Wall enables progression in your Asana practice and fine tune advanced postures such as backbends. 

What other services are offered at the Pursue Wellness Integrative Health Center and Spa by independent private practitioners?

We are fortunate to offer several additional services to improve mind, body and spirit, such as massage therapy, mental health therapy, Reiki, and several types of yoga practice. Each of our independent private practitioners are available through their respective contact information. You may schedule and pay for yoga classes directly through our website or on the Vagaro app.

What are the benefits of massage therapy?

  • Restores balance of nervous system and relieves accumulated stress in the body resulting in deep relaxation and stress reduction
  • Emotional and energetic balance
  • Improved sleep and digestion
  • Eliminates deep toxins and improves Lymphatic flow
  • Increased peripheral blood flow to aide in healing
  • Reduction of acute and chronic pain
  • Increased kinesthetic awareness
  • Improved range of motion and structural balance

Who can benefit from mental health therapy?

Most people, couples or families can benefit from therapy at  some point in their lives. Sometimes the signs are obvious and other times they are not. Having difficulty with relationships, struggling with stress, grief, sadness, anxiety or dealing with illness, are some of the reasons why people seek counselling. Addressing these issues before they become unmanageable is of utmost importance.

What is CranioSacral Therapy?

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction, and restore whole-body balance by listening to the body’s natural wisdom and working with the body to do what it does naturally. Using pressure as light as 5 grams (about the weight of a nickel) most of the time, it relaxes the central nervous system and allows for balance to come back and healing to occur.

Why should I consider CST?

Every day your body endures stresses and strains that it must work to compensate for. Unfortunately, these changes often cause body tissues to tighten and distort the craniosacral system. These distortions can then cause tension to form around the brain and spinal cord resulting in restrictions. This can create a barrier to the healthy performance of the central nervous system, and potentially every other system it interacts with.

What conditions does it help?

By relaxing the central nervous system, and enhancing the body’s ability to self-correct, CranioSacral Therapy is able to alleviate a wide variety of dysfunctions. Some of these are: headaches, migraines, learning disabilities, dyslexia, tinnitus, low back pain, depression, anxiety, TMJ, PTSD, ADD/ADHD.

When should I not get CST?

If you have a condition that involves any of your major organs, or any condition that changes the intracranial pressure, you might not be a good candidate for CST and we advise you to consult your doctor.

What can I expect?

You can wear (loose) comfortable clothing, and do not need to undress for CST. Soft music will play while you are relaxing. Some people just feel relaxed, others might feel the small movements as the techniques are performed, and yet others see colors or other visuals. As with any treatment, please let us know if anything is uncomfortable.

What Is Manual Lymphatic Drainage?

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle technique that was developed by Emile Vodder to drain sinuses and enhance the lymphatic system. A healthy Lymph flow is a big part of a good functioning immune system. The gentle strokes may be compared to a light massage, however they are geared for the lymph vessels just below the skin. The goal of MLD is to increase lymph flow, whereas massage is focused on muscles. While both have therapeutic benefits which are equal in importance, they are different in performance; therefore the client can experience this pain-free relaxing treatment.

Why should I consider MLD?

As you probably know, the glands swell when you are sick. These lymph nodes are an important part of your lymph- and immune systems. Just like you change the oil in your car to keep it running well, it’s good to “flush” your lymphatic system to keep it performance optimal. Unlike the blood, which is pumped through the body by the heart, the lymph has no pump to move the fluid through the body.

What conditions does it help?

Anyone who wants to enhance their immune system can receive MLD. That being said, there are several conditions where MLD is recommended as part of your routine to stay healthy. Some of these are: sinus issues, bell’s palsy, Crohn’s disease, Lyme disease, surgery, acne, edema, joint replacements, burns, phantom pain, multiple sclerosis, diabetic ulcers, pain, damaged or removed lymph nodes, edema. It helps healing and well-being of the body.

When should I not get MLD?

If you have a condition that involves any of your major organs you might not be a good candidate for MLD because the body will not be able to handle the increased lymph load. If you have swollen glands or green mucus coming out of your nose you should reschedule your appointment.

What can I expect?

You can wear comfortable clothing, and do not need to undress for an MLD treatment. The strokes are very gentle and rhythmic which can put clients in a deep state of relaxation. You will be laying down on a massage table and will be asked to turn over. Clients are expected to drink 16 oz of water before the treatment, and again after you’ve received your lymphatic drainage. Some clients lose some water weight over the few days following the treatment.

What is Reiki?

Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction, relaxation, and the promotion of healing, and has been practiced for thousands of years. Reiki is made up of two Japanese words: Rei meaning “higher power” and ki meaning “life energy force.” It is based on the idea of “life energy forces” that naturally flow throughout the body. Reiki is administered by a qualified practitioner by placing their hands on or directly above a person. It is the belief that when our life force energy is low, it can cause us to become sick or stressed. When we balance our life force energy, we become calmer and healthier.

What does Reiki treat?

Reiki is a treatment for the whole person including body, mind, and emotions, and has many beneficial effects including relaxation, as well as a feeling of peace and security. Reiki is a simple, natural, and safe method for promoting self-healing and relaxation. It compliments a functional approach to health and has been shown to promote life balance and reduce the effects of anxiety, depression, stress, ADHD, chronic pain, migraines, chronic fatigue, menopausal symptoms. 

Several local hospitals have also begun using Reiki treatments on their patients as an adjunct to traditional care, including Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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