Riverside Wellness Center now taking appointments

Riverside Wellness Center will include services from massage therapists, a mental health counselor, and Reiki practitioner, as well as hosting a variety of events and classes. Sadie Hefel, of Guttenberg, is one such practitioner. (Press photo by Molly Moser)


By Molly Moser

The ever-evolving city of Guttenberg will become home to yet another unique business in 2014. A group of practitioners committed to holistic health have come together to form Riverside Wellness Center, which is set to open its doors this month.

The term holistic health is used to describe the concept that cultivating good health requires a perception of the individual as an integrated system rather than separate parts. Cindy Olsen, who organized the formation of Riverside Wellness Center, describes holistic health as “a balance between emotional health, mental health, and physical health.” 

Olsen is a licensed mental health practitioner. She has operated a successful practice in Guttenberg for 12 years, and Riverside Wellness Center will join her practice in its current location at 222 River Park Drive. 

Diana Barry will lead monthly classes on various topics, beginning with a class on angel card readings on Thursday, Jan. 9.  Class participants will get a deck of cards and will learn how to use them. “Angel cards are very spiritual. All the messages are for our uplifting, for lightening our spirit,” explains Barry.

Other classes include lessons on chakras, reflexology for the entire family, aromatherapy, and a monthly look at the cosmic lineup.

“I've been a massage educator in Des Moines for the past nine years,” says Barry. She's also taught personal health and wellness classes, and is an intuitive life coach. “I hope to bring some of those teachings to the wellness center, and to introduce the area to all of the alternative traditions that are available.”

Laurie Fangmann, licensed massage therapist since 2001, will see clients at Riverside Wellness Center on Tuesdays. Fangmann will offer 1/2-hour massages, hour-long massages, and chair massages for 10, 15 or 20 minutes. “I do Swedish massage (more for relaxing) as well as therapeutic deep tissue massage that can be used for more specific work in areas of need,” Fangmann explains. 

She describes the benefits of massage. “It is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain, and muscle tension. For the same reasons that a massage is relaxing, it can also soothe anxiety and depression. Massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol; resulting in lifted spirits and often, lower blood pressure. It can also boost the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which are involved in depression. It helps with sleep and circulation as well.”

Becky Hefel will practice Reiki for clients at Riverside Wellness Center. Reiki is an ancient healing technique based on the principle that the practitioner can channel energy into the client for stress reduction and relaxation to promote healing. 

“It is based on the idea that an unseen "life force energy" flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one's life force energy is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy,” explains Hefel. “Reiki activates the natural healing processes of the body and can restore physical and emotional well-being.” 

Hefel plans to practice Reiki at Riverside Wellness Center on Thursdays and by appointment. “I see the Center as a resource for alternative health and wellness modalities. We will be offering monthly movies and documentaries, classes, and speakers on many topics,” she says. “I am excited to be part of this very progressive center!” 

Massage therapist Sadie Hefel will begin taking appointments at Riverside Wellness Center by Feb. 1. She will continue to operate her business, Divine Current Massage and Natural Gifts, in addition to her role at the wellness center. Hefel will offer classes on such topics as incorporating essential oils into daily life, basic herb usage, self-massage techniques, and stretching. On Saturday, Feb. 15, she will lead a women’s circle, open to the public and based on self-love. 

Hefel looks forward to a monthly red tent gathering during the new moon. “Red tent is an ancient gathering of women to celebrate being a woman. It’s a chance to share and cleanse ourselves of things we don’t usually talk about,” Hefel explains.

She also plans to provide doula services through DONA international, a worldwide doula organization. Hefel is training to become a birth doula, a knowledgeable, experienced companion who educates parents before labor and offers emotional support, encouragement, and wisdom throughout the birthing experience. As a doula, Hefel will give three prenatal visits to get to know the mother and her loved ones, become familiar with the birth plan, and provide education on birthing options. 

“I’ll be on call till mom goes into labor, and with her all the way through the process until she becomes comfortable following birth,” Hefel explains. She will provide a postpartum visit and offers many extras, including massage, to her role as a doula. 

Caroline Rosacker will lead meditation at Riverside Wellness Center. “If you wanted to label my style of meditation, I would say it is inspirational and Christian-based,” says Rosacker. She describes meditation as, “a natural process that, when allowed to happen in a time and place set aside for the practice, gives our bodies the opportunity to heal and relax, our mind to quiet, and our true self to perceive its place in the scheme of things.”

Riverside Wellness Center will begin taking appointments immediately and can be reached at 252-6020. For more information or to be notified about classes and services, email riversidewellness2014@yahoo.com or visit www.facebook.com/guttenbergriversidewellness.

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