As the veil of the New Year opens its doors to new adventures, opportunities, and experiences, much like a good majority of resolute’ers, I am compelled to attempt to understand my own personal Self-Care and Wellness Journey. Throughout the next several months, I hope to find out what that really means, “Self-Care”, “Wellness”, “Health”, and what that looks like. I look forward to sharing some of my experiences with you.
Sometimes the most challenging part of any journey is figuring out where to start. I am thankful there are so many local businesses geared towards Wellness and taking care of one’s “Self”. Also, there are an array of local trusted Partners with Pure Drip IV Health and Wellness that continually strive to bring Wellness back to the community.
What better place to start than with Lasers!! I had the wonderful opportunity to really connect with the experienced practitioners and a few of their offered services at 212˚ Wellness.
You can check out on their website: https://212wellness.com/
Their address is: 2038 Vermont Dr UNIT 207, Fort Collins, CO 80525
Or connect with them by phone at: (970) 999-5862
As I walked into their beautiful 2nd floor clinical space it felt far from clinical. I was greeted by Chris Hodel, Brittany Cipriano, and Emma Vondruska. Each with their own respective expertise. I was grateful for the opportunity to sit with each of them to better understand what they provide for their clientele and what a typical first time experience looks like for a new client.
To be bold, I will admit I was skeptical before I arrived. I have had previous Laser experience in the Operating Room as a Laser Operator and the Dept.’s Laser Safety Officer. I have a fundamental understanding about medical lasers (CO2, Homiun, YAG) and the foundations of how they work for various procedures and tissue types.
Though I have never worked with Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), which are the types of lasers utilized at 212˚ Wellness, I went in with an open mind to all the knowledge and experience they would share. I have to say I was impressed with the amount of clinical information, experience, medical research, and their ability to convey it in a palatable and understanding way.
We started off our experience with Mr. Chris Hodel. Chris is a wonderful down to earth practitioner who is passionate about what he does and even more so in providing care and recovery for his clients. Chris has 15 years of experience in his field with an array of certifications, and continually seeks education and knowledge to enhance the optimum care he provides. The first thing we engaged in was a head-to-toe assessment of my gait, balance, strength, with both my eyes open and closed. We continued with a series of Reflexology components and further assessment. This was so cool to experience and I appreciated how thorough it was. He explained everything as we went through his assessment which helped to comfort my skepticism and really opened up to the process throughout his assessment.
Typically, a new client will first be assessed by Chis and through his review and findings, he may have a variety of recommendations. From there, he may recommend a combination of services that they offer from Rolfing, PEMF (Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field), or Erchonia FX 405 Laser.
I would be happy to provide a brief definition of Rolfing and PEMF, though I would recommend to anyone to take some time to read up on both. The one thing I really appreciated about 212˚ Wellness is that they are not short of information, content, and studies to back up their processes and procedures. If you ask, they would be happy to provide information to you about what they do and how it effectively works on the body for your Health and Wellness.
Rolfing was first developed by Dr. Ida Pauline Rolf. Side note Dr. Ida P. Rolf has an amazing story and I would recommend checking out the mark she left on the world.
In 1920, Ida Pauline Rolf received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. Despite the resistance she faced as a woman in the field of science, she furthered her knowledge of the body through research in organic chemistry at the Rockefeller Institute.
Driven to find solutions to her own health problems as well as those of her two sons, she spent many years studying and experimenting with different systems of healing and manipulation.
Throughout most of her life she was intrigued with and explored many forms of alternative healing including homeopathy, osteopathy, chiropractic and yoga. The notion that proper alignment, physiologic function and anatomical structure are related is the basis of many of these healing methods.
Dr. Rolf agreed that the body functions best when the bony segments are in proper alignment. She added her observations that lasting improvement in alignment and an overall sense of well-being required a closer look at the effects of gravity on our bodies. She believed that the imbalances in structure placed demands on the body’s pervasive network of soft tissues: muscles, fascia, tendons and ligaments, thereby creating compensations throughout the body structure.
Dr. Rolf posed this fundamental question: “What conditions must be fulfilled in order for the human body-structure to be organized and integrated in gravity so that the whole person can function in the most optimal and economical way?”
Her life’s work was devoted to this investigation which led to the system of soft tissue manipulation and movement education that we now call Rolfing.
Chris and I did not do a session of Rolfing during my first time experience, though we ventured on to checkout the PEMF which is also located in the same space as their Erchonia FX 405 Laser (Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT).
Mrs. Emma Vondruska is the primary laser operator for the Erchonia FX 405 Laser and will often manage the PEMF device, though all staff are trained on both. The nice thing is that the PEMF and the Erchonia FX 405 Laser can be run on a set program and once the program starts it can be unattended. During the session you can choose to have the room to yourself, to meditate, deep breathe, listen to a podcast, whatever calls to you. It is very relaxing with soft lighting.
Though if you did not prefer some alone time during your session, Emma will often sit with clients during their session, reviewing and assessing clients ailments and symptoms of concern. Emma has a Holistic Health degree, is a Certified Wellness Coach, and on top of that she is also trained in the art of Reiki Energy Healing.
To provide some brief context for the therapeutic benefits for PEMF or Pulsed Electro-Magnetic Field and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) :
PEMF devices offer a non-drug approach to pain management and a potential decrease of medication use and dependency. There are many pulsed electromagnetic field devices on the market. The devices vary depending on the magnetic field intensity, waveform, and frequency. A great amount of research has been performed using PEMF for different aspects of healing in animal models, as well as clinical treatment of non-healing fractures, tendon tears, chronic ulcers, post-surgical pain, and acute or chronic pain. Unfortunately, there is no strong consensus on specific intensities, frequencies, or waveforms for particular conditions. It has been difficult to establish an agreement because different magnetic fields applied for different medical issues can cause different results (Markov, 2015).
Despite the challenges of research, there are multiple possible benefits of a therapeutic magnetic field application to healing the body (Jerabek and Pawluk, 1996). Studies have shown a decrease in:
– Pain, Swelling, and Inflamation
Magnetic field application studies have also shown to improve:
– Circulation, Cellular Metabolism, & Energy
Proposed mechanisms of PEMF therapy include activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to increase intracellular calcium and nitric oxide release (Pilla, 2015). Nitric oxide promotes blood vessel production and growth, which is helpful in healing injured tissues (Pilla, 2015).
PEMF has been examined in many painful conditions including: acute injury, arthritis and nerve issues. Researchers found improved healing of soft tissue injuries by decreasing swelling and healing hematoma, while low frequency PEMFs improved edema during treatment and high frequency PEMF improved edema up to several hours after the treatment session (Markov and Pilla, 1995).
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT):
There is a podcast by Dr. Chad Woolner & Dr. Andrew Wells on Spotify called “Laser Light Show” that was recommended to listen to by the staff at 212˚ Wellness. There are about 25 episodes ranging from How LLLT Works, Why Research Matters, to Gut and Dermatological Health with the use of LLLT. Check it out!
“Laser Light Show” with Dr. Chad Woolner & Dr. Andrew Wells.
212˚ Wellness also has the option for Handheld Rental Lasers. Their about the size of 5”x7” index card and as thick as 2 decks of cards. Though they pack a powerful Low Level Laser in them and can be utilized in the comfort of your own home. They are from the same technology and company as the Erchonia FX 405 Laser.
As if the aforementioned wasn’t enough great personalized service options offered by 212˚ Wellness, I was introduced to the Zerona Laser by Mrs. Brittany Cipriano. Brittany is the primary laser operator for the Zerona Laser and 212˚ Wellness’s Laser Safety Officer. Brittany is also an Army Veteran with training as a Combat Medic and EMT (Thank you for your service!!), a Licensed Esthetician, Certified Physical Therapy Technician, a Certified Nursing Assistant, and has her degree in Psychology from CSU.
Listening to Brittany describe how she personalizes each session for her clients was fascinating. To provide a small glimpse of what the Zerona laser is used for, it helps to reduce lipids (fat) without cell destruction. The Zerona Laser’s specific wavelength and intensity creates a transitory pore in the Fat Cell’s membrane which allows the lipid inside the fat cell to move into the extracellular space to be transported through the lymphatic system to be disposed of in our poo. The science is kinda cool and there is a good amount of extensive research on this technology and how it works, as well as the benefits of not destroying the fat cells in the process of trying to lose weight.
Though as a side of caution, please do not mistake this kind of high quality laser technology as equivalent to LED lights sold claiming the same results. Trust me I’ve looked, and if this were the case, then LED lights in this wavelength would be the holy grail of weight loss and we’d all have the LED light pads.
Though the amazing thing I kept hearing from Brittany is it’s not all about getting the client under the laser for her, it’s about the whole person. She provides an extensive personalized assessment to first determine the best approach to meet her client’s goals. In her practice she provides testing kits to identify total gut health, identifying allergies and sensitivities that you may not have been aware of. She also is well versed in Lymphatic Drainage which is key to help the body’s natural process to rid itself from toxins, free floating lipids, damaged cells, etc.
In conclusion, I went in skeptical and came out amazed. Their mission and goals are holistically client centered and with their extensive combined knowledge, background, education, and experience I don’t think anyone could go wrong checking them out to see how they can help you on your journey of Healing, Wellness, and Self-Care.
Stay tuned for my next adventure into Wellness, until then…
Aloha a hui hou!!