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Sandpoint, a Holistic Town A Model for Solving Our Healthcare Dilemma

The Sandpoint Wellness Council would like to thank the community for the overwhelming support we have received during the last two years. It is very apparent to us that we are truly in the middle of a major shift toward wellness, self-care, and personal responsibility.

A nation in crisis

This country needs to encourage self-responsibility personally and collectively as healthcare consumers. We need to transform the current system of treating the immediate crisis to a system that supports our citizens becoming and remaining healthy. Presently there is an incentive to use the healthcare system to treat a problem versus using the system to prevent a problem. We need to create a system that educates our citizens about incorporating may types of therapies into their healthcare regimen.

We know that such a shift will no occur quickly. With good intentions our present  healthcare system rivals the “military-industrial complex” President Eisenhower warned us about.  It will take a strong commitment to establish a balanced healthcare system that goes beyond serving the profiteers of the “healthcare-industrial complex.”

A way out

A December 11 article in the Washington Post gives us a clue to a solution.

More than one-third of adults and nearly 12 percent of children in the United States use alternatives to traditional medicine, according to a large federal survey released today that documents how entrenched acupuncture, herbal remedies and other once-exotic therapies have become. The 2007 survey of more than 32,000 Americans, which for the first time included children, found that use of yoga, “probiotics,” fish oil and other “complementary and alternative” therapies held steady among adults since the last national survey five years earlier, and that such treatments have become part of health care for many youngsters.

The article goes on to say, “adults were most likely to use alternative therapies for pain.” This holds true with our local experience. Readers want to know how to eliminate their pain. Practitioners want to reduce or eliminate pain for their patients.  Therefore it becomes increasingly most important to learn all we can about a variety of methods backed by solid science to prevent conditions and illnesses to begin and to maintain our own wellbeing.  In this way, we will impact the healthcare system one consumer at a time.

The Sandpoint Wellness Council loves bringing information to public awareness about the variety of complementary health care practices available from its members. We appreciate the feedback we receive in The River Journal and on our blog as our collective mission is to provide science based treatment information to you to enable you to make wise choices for your particular condition and  to be as healthy as possible.

Sandpoint leading the way

With the growing number of massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, physical therapist, naturopaths, homeopaths, energy medicine practitioners, and Rolfers in Sandpoint, we are recognizing the rising value of complementary health care practices as our community increases now chooses more often to utilize these therapies to support wellness. A new Sandpoint Holistic Chamber of Commerce is presently forming to support this growth. As well, The New York Times article highlighted The Sandpoint Transition Initiative for not only supporting holistic health, but also for their mission to be an avenue of support for the health of the entire community.  In spite of Sandpoint’s size, we are in the forefront of the shift from feeling that it is the responsibility of others to keep us healthy to a responsibility of each individual.  As a council, we support each of us learning as many options as possible to enable wise decision making, to learn to ask appropriate and relevant questions of all of our health care providers, and to feel personally committed to health and well being.

Please call any of us or visit our blog (web site) at to ask questions or leave comments. Our goal is to be a resource for our community; our blog is your forum to interact with us and other readers.

Written by Owen Marcus

Sandpoint Wellness Council members:

Krystle Shapiro, BA, LMT, CDT,Reiki,

Touchstone Massage Therapies

Oncology Massage Specialist


Owen Marcus, MA



Mary Boyd, MS, PT

Mountain View Physical Therapy


Robin & Layman Mize CBS

Quantum Biofeedback


Will Mihin, DC

North Idaho Spine Clinic



What does Holistic Health Care Really Mean?

By Krystle Shapiro, LMT

I often hear people asking what exactly does the term “holistic” mean?  Isn’t health care, well, health care?  We as a society are so accustomed to visiting with our doctors and care providers, registering our concerns, aches, pains, and conditions, and then receiving a prescription to resolve our discomforts.  This is a traditional Western model of medicine, of course in its most simplistic form.

Holistic health care looks at each client/patient in the context of their entire environment, lifestyle practices, emotional and physical situation, stress levels, and nutritional practices.  As human beings, everything impacts our responses both internally and externally.  The holistic practitioner aims to understand all these factors that influence the well being of a client/patient.  Oftentimes, educating a client on stress reduction will begin the elimination of other debilitating conditions, such as rashes, irritable bowels, hypertension, etc.  Understanding a person’s eating habits may provide clues to food sensitivities, allergies, and digestive disorders that commonly lead to more serious ailments.  Changing diet may lower cholesterol and hypertension, and in turn will improve cardiovascular health.  When a person is under stress and/or is too sedentary, thus contributing to frustration, anxiety, and discomforts leading to other ailments, educating clients on proper exercise to promote health and well being becomes an important component of holistic health care recommendations.

Holistic practices recognize that health care is not a “one prescription fits all” as each individual, while complaining about the same ailment or condition, is an individual with very different environmental, lifestyle, and genetic backgrounds.  By taking into account all this information, a well rounded protocol can be developed as individualized to meet the unique needs of each person.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marisa April 23, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I’ll just book mark this web site.


admin April 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Marisa, thanks – we will continue to provide interesting information.


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