I round my shoulders forward to protect my heart.
That’s what I told Dr. Babak Mokari, DO at the CENTER FOR THE HEALING ARTS when he asked me about my neck and shoulder pain. Dr Mokari is an osteopathic physician specializing in Integrative Medicine. Osteopathic medicine is a philosophy that emphasizes the interrelationship between structure and function of the body, as well as the body’s ability to heal itself. I was thrilled to explore my options at this new scoop client, and their integrative medical approach. I’ve tried everything else.
Integrative medicine is a blend of traditional and non-traditional approaches to health and healing, focusing on the mind, body, spirit connection and treating the WHOLE person. At the Center for the Healing Arts the mission is “to provide multidisciplinary integrative healthcare to the community. The idea is to combine services in a facility where people can come to be educated and to heal themselves with the aid of trained, skilled professionals.” One body–one stop. I like the idea of taking care of all my “issues” under one roof.
How does integrative medicine work?
Integrating the best of conventional medicine with the best of holistic medicine, all within a more comprehensive individualized treatment plan for each person, requires a staff with integrated credentials. The team at the Center for the Healing Arts have impressive resumes and all the passion needed to blaze a new path in the industry. By the way, there is no place like this in the country.
The ideal is simple. As the patient, you assemble a team to assists in your healthcare needs including conventional therapies along with; osteopathic evaluation, acupuncture, yoga, stress management, nutrition and more. Here’s what I liked about the experience:
- My integrative health professionals are all under one roof (one hallway to be exact). They will work together, talk to each other, and customize treatment as a team.
- I get a significant amount of time during each appointment to tell my story (60-90 minutes). The staff refers to this is low volume, high touch.
What to Expect
Each patient completes an Initial Interview Health Questionnaire which gives the staff a comprehensive health assessment. These questions set the foundation for your customized integrated healing. The exam rooms are almost spa-like with sound machines, essential oils, and massage tables. A warm and welcoming atmosphere with a slowed down pace where you can be heard.
Wear comfortable clothes to your appointment.
Here is a list of unique services offered at the center:
REIKI : A healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch to activate the natural healing processes of the patient’s body and restore physical and emotional well-being.
HYPNOTHERAPY: Clinical Hypnosis is a state of focused mental awareness while in a relaxed state (called a trance state). This allows the person to access parts of their own subconscious for healing that may be otherwise inaccessible in a waking state. Hypnosis can be a powerful adjunct for almost any medical condition because it facilitates the healing of the mind-body-spirit connection.
HEALTH COACHING: Health coaches create a personalized “road map to health” that suits each individual’s unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals. Health coaches work with the whole person, listen to clients concerns and ask key questions to help motivate clients to make changes
INTEGRATIVE PHARMACIST: Many people find the huge number of vitamins, herbal remedies, and supplements available on the market today overwhelming. Likewise, many health care providers have limited education about these products and feel uncomfortable making specific recommendations to their patients. An integrative pharmacist is knowledgeable about supplements and prescription medications.
HOLISTIC CORPORATE WELLNESS: Organizational health is dependent on the overall health of the individuals devoting their time and talent to the mission of the organizations they serve. In designing a corporate wellness program the staff would take into consideration corporate culture, mission and vision, executive team goals as well as individual goals to design large group, individual and break out sessions. Some of the session include:stress management, team building, and conflict resolution (to name only a few).
My Painfully Rounded Shoulders
I met first with my “team”; Laura Mauriello BSN, RN (Health Coach) , Carol Knight Bondy MBA, CMPE (Life Coach) and Babak Mokari, DO (Integrative Osteopathic Physician). They are the heart and soul of the Center for Healing Arts. They will create a specific plan for my healing. A plan which I will help create and implement. This is a collaboration that will ultimately empower me to listen to my body, take charge of my healthcare and be a proactive participant in my well-being. I’m ready.
Healing is a journey. Me and my shoulders have been on a long wiggly path up hill. What hit me as I spoke with my “team” is, I am doing this to myself. I tend to scrunch my shoulders up to my ears and round them forward. I remember doing it as a little girl. Now as a grown woman my muscles feel frozen. Stuck. I do this unconsciously. It’s my armor… my protection.
I settle into the exam room with Dr. Mokari. In that safe, spa-like exam room, I confessed.
As if he could see through my skin into the knots and tangles of my muscles, Dr. Mokari manipulated my arms and neck. The treatment wasn’t painful. Actually, I felt instant relief and walked away from my appointment pain free. I will need to come back, several times, to really get to the root of my issue and unfreeze my muscles.
My treatment will involve retraining my muscles. To do this I have to become mindful and aware of rounding my shoulders up and forward. The proper alignment feels strange and vulnerable but I have a “team” to teach me stretches and offer me tools to heal.
My healing journey is only beginning, but there are many patients who have found relief from chronic pain and illnesses at THE CENTER FOR HEALING ARTS including musculoskeletal complaints, sports-related injuries, healthy weight management, anxiety and stress management using mindfulness, and meditation instruction, and help with navigating career and life transitions.
And to get a glimpse into the healing try one of theses WORKSHOPS:
Executive Director and Life Coach
Director of Client Services and Certified Health Coach
Medical Director and Integrative Osteopathic Physician
335 N Caswell Road
Charlotte, NC 28204
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