Dr. Randy Schaetzke of Quechee

Sooner or later, it happens to all of us. An injury changes the regular routine of life, or an illness pops up to put a severe crimp in our passions.  Possibly a life-changing disability forces us to give up a once vigorous lifestyle. These changes to our physical being, whether temporary, or permanent, cause us to re-think our activities, and adapt to a new normal.

Quechee resident Gail Seaver knows all to well how an illness can disrupt one’s life, and dramatically change a lifestyle.  A diagnosis of a rare form of cancer, followed by surgery, and chemotherapy, proved to her that life is an evolving series of unexpected occurrences. But when traditional medical procedures were not effective in eradicating the disease, Seaver chose not to merely accept her fate, but found other, emerging holistic treatments to combat the illness, help return her health, and give hope.

There are many options, and many alternatives, when attempting to recuperate from an injury or illness. One local source devoted to inspiring a holistic lifestyle, and help those dealing with physical setbacks, is the Strong House Spa in Quechee.

For over 25 years, Sheila Armen (along with co-owner Shelly Yusko) has operated Strong House, offering a wide range of health inspiring services to clients.  Dedicated to helping those with chronic pain and injury, Armen says not only do the professionals at Strong House work to correct problems, “We help to prevent injury,” she says.

Help with physical issues are far from the only form of help provided here; relaxation techniques that work to put the mind at ease, through processes such as meditation, also take place. Armen says, that stress is a major factor in both physical, and emotional problems. Referring to our seemingly easier lifestyle resulting from modern technology, Armen makes the point that “Life is hard, even when it’s easy.”

“Mental tension causes physical stress,” Armen adds.

Working to relieve stress, and find peace through mind relaxation, has proven important to Gail Seaver. Meditation, and classes stressing mindfulness, is an important component in her recovery plan, she says.

Assessing physical problems, resulting from a specific trauma, or from a chronic pain condition, is key to putting together a plan of recovery, and avoiding further injury. Quechee’s Dr. Randy Schaetzke, says it is important to go beyond merely treating a client’s symptoms. “It’s important to go after why they have the symptoms,” he says. Dr. Schaetzke, a chiropractor who incorporates many forms of wellness in treating his clients, says that a symptom such as a chronic sore back may very well result from an issue originating from another part of the body, such as the neck, or lower extremities. He relates the story of a client coming in with symptoms of painful, numb legs; yet the solution to the issue was correcting a problem with the client’s neck.

This tactic of treating the body as a whole unit, with interconnected parts working together, seems to make a great deal of sense in a recovery plan. Sheila Armen stresses the importance of skin care in one’s overall health. The skin is our largest organ, Armen says, and many negative entities can invade our body through the skin.

What we put in our bodies for sustenance is a great example of this interconnected system with which we function. Proper hydration, eating healthy, whole foods, and augmenting a diet with proper supplements can all help in recovery, and reduce the likelihood of future illness. Restoring good bacteria in the gut, and eliminating bad carbohydrates and sugar from a diet are important health considerations, says Dr. Schaetzke. “Processed white sugar is a poison,” he says.

When surgery and chemotherapy did not prove to be an option for helping Gail Seaver, she turned to local research scientist and nutritionist Dr. Laleh Talebian for help in putting together a diet and nutrition plan. Dr. Talebian is a strong advocate for illness prevention through proper eating; her mantra is “I am what I eat.”

Seaver says her nutrition plan devised by Dr. Talebian included the elimination of dairy, grain, and sugar, while relying on foods such as non-GMO, grass fed meats, vegetables, and wild-caught fish. “It was hard at first,” says Seaver of the eating plan, but the results proved impressive.  After starting the regimen, she noticed her pain diminished, and upon later medical exams, there were indicators that the tumors had stabilized, and even reduced.

As often happens, Seaver says that after a while, she strayed a bit from the new eating regimen, but noticed the results. “I didn’t feel as well.”  Realizing this strict diet was making positive changes in her overall health, she returned to following it more carefully than ever. “It’s now a lifestyle for me,” she says.

This points out to an important aspect of recovery, or rehabilitation from illness or injury; making it a full time commitment. Spending a few hours a week at a gym, or involved with treatment at a facility such as the Strong House Spa is important, but so is continuing that commitment at home, or on the job. Dr. Schaetzke says he gives his clients homework; that being following the proper dietary and exercise procedures he recommends, while at home.  Armen says that those working with the various treatment options at Strong House “leave with self care,” which extends to their daily lives.  As Gail Seaver points out, the recovery treatment process needs to become a lifestyle.

Both Sheila Armen and Dr. Randy Schaetzke say they see all manner of clients facing struggles. With an aging population, Dr. Schaetzke says many that come to him for help are dealing with injuries from years back. “Old injuries come back to haunt us,” he says.

Sheila Armen finds clients come to her facility with a variety of issues, from chronic pain, to sports injuries, to medical conditions such as MS and Parkinson’s disease. Though the wellness treatments offered through Strong House may differ from medical treatments offered by physicians at hospitals and in private practices, Armen says she and the various treatment specialists at Strong House maintain a good joint relationship with area medical professionals, who have a good deal of respect for the work done at the Strong House Spa.