Holiday Greetings!


Article of the Month




Sarah Lahoski is a board certified polarity practitioner and holistic health practitioners with Living Wellness Associates in northern Summit County.  She started in her current position at Living Wellness in May of this year but has been working in the holistic healthcare profession for five years.

She decided to go into the field after first experiencing Reiki while she suffered from postpartum depression.  Nothing had helped until that point, but after using Reiki, the symptoms disappeared.  The experience spurred Lahoski to take a class and learn more about the field of energy medicine.

“Before this, I had a sister who was fighting cancer.  When she tried a microbiotic diet, her cancer slowed.  I had been raised in an allopathic family, so this was my first experience with eastern medicine,” Lahoski said. “Holistic healthcare is now my passion, not just my job.”

Lahoski holds a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology from the University of Akron, and she spent some time in the military in the intelligence area.  She also studied psychology, knowing there was a strong link between one’ health and one’s thoughts.

“I always knew I would end up in a healing arts career, but I never did find the right fit in traditional college programs, ” Lahoski said.

After pursuing a different approach, Lahoski finished first in her graduating class from the Institute of Holistic Health Careers.  Lahoski is also certified in heart-centered hypnotherapy from the Wellness Institute, and she works as a Reiki master/teacher at Akron City Hospital at the palliative care unit.

There are many misconceptions about the field, Lahoski admitted, even though the science behind what she does is more than 5,000 years old.  Often, when someone is not familiar with something, it is feared.  She personally has done a lot of research in the field, including the effectiveness of holistic health practices.


What it takes to succeed

As a holistic health practitioner, Lahoski works with clients to help them maintain health and reduce stress.  She provides classes to help educate people on holistic health, as well.

“What we do is like an electrician who goes into someone’s house.  He goes to to the circuit box and flips the circuits that aren’t functioning.  If you don’t do this, then is is very likely the energy will build and catch fire,” she said.  “It is a fascinating topic, especially when you start to apply it to what we do.”

Lahoski said she is amazed every day by how the body is “so magnificent and capable of healing”.  That, coupled with how the practice has changed her life, is why she loves to share what she has learned with others.

For more information

There are several careers paths in the field, including holistic, preventative and wellness health care.  Corporate wellness from the holistic approach is a rapidly growing field.  Other certificate programs include herbal education, Reiki, aromatherapy, and anatomy.

“There are numerous positions in integrative medicine centers such as Cleveland Clinic, Ohio State University, and many chiropractic and traditional doctors’ offices,” said Mary Jo Ruggieri, Ph.D., director of the Center for Integrative Health and Wellness at the Institute of Holistic Health Careers.

For those who want to learn more about the practice of holistic health care, the first step is to find a school that is board certified under the State of Ohio Board of Careers Colleges and Schools. Second, look for a school that has gone the extra mile to get other certifications from national organizations that have standards of education.

Dr. Ruggieri also suggested checking into graduation and placement rates at the various institutions, as well as the diversity in the curriculum when looking for the right program.  Many offer financial aid.  She also suggested sitting in on some classes before making the decision and also talking to other students and faculty members to learn more.

The above article appeared in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on Sunday, December 16, 2012.  It was written by Terri Mrosko, a freelance writer specializing in business,employment, and career management.
Healthy Tidbits

Dealing With Holiday Stress

One of the foundations for holistic healthcare is in truly understanding the effects of stress in our lives. No matter how many vitamins and herbal remedies we take, no matter how many miles we jog and no matter how many fruits and vegetables we eat, stress is the first and foremost detriment to our health, a silent threat to us all.

The effects of stress are physical. During the stress response your body becomes a walking war machine preparing for attack while shutting down many other vital organ functions. How much stress each person can handle depends upon their ability to cope with the physical, mental and emotional changes that occur with stressful situations.

Stress is seriously linked to specific illnesses, as research now demonstrates. The truth of the matter is simply that nobody really functions well for long in overload mode. The body becomes insensitive to the effects of overloading and cannot handle it without some serious side effects.

Slow Down

One way to deal with stress is to take life at a slower pace.  Slowing down is actually winter’s message, but Americans have a hard time with being quiet, still or silent. The rush is always on, especially after Thanksgiving. Everyone collapses after the holidays and spends most of January fighting fatigue, burnout, depression and winter colds.

 Other Ways to Reduce Stress

  • Be silent. Silence provides relief from constant stimulation and disoriented mental chatter.
  • Get consistent bodywork. Massage, reflexology, polarity give our bodies the tools it needs to cope with stress.
  • Take extra vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E and beta carotene in the winter, besides an herbal immune builder.

  • Breathe, breathe, breathe. Remember to breathe deep and expand the lower ribs (to the sides) for a more relaxed breath.
  • Juice organic vegetables daily, carrot juice especially. Add a little celery or other greens. Drink within 30 minutes because the live enzymes which are so healing for the body are best when fresh. This is a remarkable habit to get into for winter.
  • Rest whenever possible. Your immune system requires more rest because your body slows down in the winter and is in a state of repair.
  • Take a hot bath with one cup of Epsom salt. Soak for 30 minutes, then wrap up in a bathrobe, lie down or snuggle under the covers for a long night’s rest.


Winter can be a blessing in disguise. It offers an opportunity to reflect, to slow down and to be still and heal. The body knows what it needs, but the mind often gets in the way.

– Reference:  Dr. Mary Jo Ruggieri 


Coping With Holiday Blues


The holiday season can be a mix of joy as well as episodes of sadness and depression.  If you are having feelings of sadness, you may be experiencing symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), one of the most common mood disorders during the winter season.  

Seasonal Affective Disorder is believed to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain due to a lack of sunlight and shortened days.  It is important to get as much sunlight as possible during these short days of winter.  Keep your curtains open, take a 20-minute walk in the natural sunlight every day, and stay as busy as possible so that your mind is focused on the joys that life has to offer.

– Karen Burke


Look Ahead to New Beginnings

One of the beautiful things about starting a brand new year is that it gives us a fresh start and an opportunity to evaluate our lives and set new goals for the coming year.

As 2012 comes to an end, think about the year ahead and where you want to be in your life one year from now.  You may want to find a new job, start a new hobby or reconnect with a forgotten dream.

The coming year will bring continued changes to the world of natural health and wellness, as more people reclaim their power and make wise choices about their well-being.  This is the perfect time to commit to being part of that change!

Knowledge is your power.  Our school now offers something for everyone:

  • Free Community Events
  • One-Day Seminars in Polarity, Massage, and Detox
  • Certificate Courses in many modalities of holistic health
  • Diploma Programs

Karen Burke 



Detox To Begin The New Year



Detoxifying or purifying the body for good health has been practiced for centuries by many cultures around the world, including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine.  Detoxifying can renew your body and its ability to maintain good health.

Click Here to learn more about Detoxing


Learn About Every Holistic Health Modality A-Z

Holistic Health Glossary


Vocalizing long, sustained sounds using a vowel, a consonant, or a combination of both without melody, words, beat or rhythm. Toning, an ancient method for pain relief and for treating illness, is one of the oldest forms of healing; also known as sounding, toning is the simplest form of singing. Toning produces vibrations with overtones, or “vocal harmonies” which help restore harmony of body, mind and spirit.


Is a subtle, rhythmic, non-invasive neuro-muscular integration, developed by Milton Trager, MD. A practitioner guides the client in gentle movement facilitating effortlessness. These repetitive, non-intrusive motions tap into the body/mind’s memory of feeling easy and pain free. The movement can be done while the client is fully clothed and standing, sitting, or lying on a table.


(a.k.a. Myotherapy or Neuromuscular Therapy) applies concentrated finger pressure to “trigger points” – painful irritated areas in muscles – in order to break the cycle of spasm and pain. Used for specific treatment of pain.


Is experienced in a very warm (approximately 94 degrees) pool where the client is held in the water by the practitioner and moved using the water to massage the body. Shiatsu (acupressure) points are stimulated along the meridians of the body during the massage. Watsu is used for pain reduction, increased range of motion, increased circulation, psychological problems, relaxation and reduction of stress. IT has been used to help individuals for rehabilitation of physical problems and disabilities, for pregnant mothers, the elderly, as well as for those who have suffered abusive relationships.


Is an ancient Indian mind/body practice that traditionally prescribes physical postures and movements (asana), breathwork (pranayama), diet, ethics, concentration and meditation in order to live skillfully and to achieve emancipation (Samadhi). The many branches of yoga stress various practices, ranging from Hatha Yoga’s emphasis on asana, to Raja Yoga’s emphasis on meditation, to Bakti Yoga’s emphasis on devotion. The many styles of Hatha Yoga popular among Americans include Iyengar, Ashtanga (Power Yoga), Kundalini, and Kripalu.

*Compiled by the Art of Well Being and Institute of Holistic Health Careers

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