Northwell’s Center for Wellness, Integrative Medicine in Roslyn offers holistic alternatives

Northwell’s Center for Wellness, Integrative Medicine in Roslyn offers holistic alternatives
Dr. Lucy Gade, center, participates in a meditation session at The Wellness and Integrative Medicine Center in Roslyn. (Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

When Northwell Health and the Katz Institute for Women’s Health acquired Practice Body Mind Soul in Roslyn two years ago, the studio began incorporating alternative treatment options into its ongoing yoga and Pilates classes, becoming the Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine.

Dr. Lucy Gade

Dr. Lucy Gade, who completed a two-year fellowship in integrative medicine in 2016 from the University of Arizona, said the center originally opened in 2013 on Old Northern Boulevard above Besito and has since had a loyal group of yogis filling its all-level yoga and meditation classes.

Now, the center has added acupuncture, specialty yoga classes and specialized exercise plans for those recently finished with physical therapy and rehabilitation as well as programs in the center and in hospitals to pair with existing medical treatments.

“This isn’t an alternative; it’s definitely an adjunct,” Gade said. “What I’m seeing with patients is they’re more educated and they are asking for things their traditional doctors might not mention as possible in terms of their treatment plans.”

Gade said integrated medicine is a blend of traditional medicine with holistic and alternative complementary therapies. Based on five key principles, integrated medicine allows for individualized treatment plans for each patient based on his or needs instead of diseases.

In March, the center began working with the Center for Advanced Medicine in New Hyde Park, offering tai chi, mindfulness, acupuncture and reflexology to radiation oncology patients in the hospital. Since the program started, about 60 patients have been treated, Gade said.

(Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

This fall, the center will introduce an integrative cardiology program designed for those who have experienced a cardiac event or had a cardiac surgery and have completed rehabilitation but don’t know what to do next.

“They know they need to make lifestyle changes and incorporate exercise, but they’re afraid of how to do it because they don’t want to over-stress themselves,” Gade said. “The cardiology program, what I’m calling ‘Phase 3,’ incorporates the body, mind and spirit along with nutrition, stress reduction and sleep. It takes a full, holistic, integrative approach to managing a disease with the hope of changing your lifestyle permanently in a positive direction.”

In addition to the two yoga studios, Pilates studio and two consultation rooms, the center has an exercise space stocked with free weights, medicine balls and fitness equipment for both one-on-one and group classes for post-cardiac rehabilitation patients, musculoskeletal patients and chronic pain management patients in physical therapy.

Spencer Scalzitti, a corrective exercise specialist and exercise physiologist, said he focuses on preventative work, building a treatment plan for each patient after a few appointments tailored to his or her abilities and injuries.

(Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

“We focus on preventative work to avoid injury,” Scalzitti said. “We do muscular balance and asymmetry first. We want to correct that, and then we want to build people’s programs. It’s not a quick fix group or high-intensity class. It’s a new, more science-based approach to training.”

In addition to standard yoga classes, Gade said, the center now offers a cardiac medical yoga class on Tuesdays for those who may have a cardiac or other medical condition that limits participation in physical activities. The class is chair-based, with participants using the chair for balance and sitting in the chair instead of on the floor.

“It’s not an easy class, but it’s not expecting someone who may not be able to get up from sitting on a mat to participating in a headstand,” Gade said.

The director of yoga, Lisa Bondy, has been specifically trained for the class, Gade said, with knowledge of anatomy, physiology and different ailments so she can help modify poses for all participants.

Myrna and Ralph Langer practice yoga together at the Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine. (Photo courtesy of Lucy Gade)

On Monday, the center offers a yoga and meditation for healing taught by Stacy Lynn, who also has a certification in yoga for cancer patients. Gade said the class is energetic with spiritual, relaxing and meditative moments but isn’t physically demanding.

Gade said the center offers two classes for prospective mothers to be, including yoga for fertility and pre-natal yoga.

The center began with yoga for fertility with Dawn Peer, and has since expanded to two pre-natal yoga courses per week — one on Thursday with Peer and one on Saturday.

“Trying to conceive is a very stressful time whether you’re going through artificial methods or trying to conceive naturally,” Gade said. “It’s a difficult time of getting to know your body, which feels very stressed. She’s been teaching that class for about a year now, and we now have people who have graduated her class and are in the pre-natal class now.”

Gade said the center’s yoga for weight loss class, another specialty option, is for heavier people who may feel uncomfortable in a regular class and focuses on body image and how to improve a negative image.

The center also offers a four-week yoga 101 series seasonally for those with no experience in yoga and would be uncomfortable attending another course without prior knowledge.

While many classes are $20 per class, Gade said the specialty classes are offered at 10 classes for $150.

(Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

“It’s important that these special populations have these services accessible to them, and you’re getting highly specialized instructors,” Gade said.

Though not typically thought of as a procedure covered by insurance, Gade said many plans that offer a flexible spending account will reimburse patients for their classes and treatments at the center.

For those in the medical field, Gade said the center offers one-day training sessions for doctors and nurses who are interested in integrative medicine, including bedside nurses using aromatherapy and reflexology.

Gade said the center will soon begin a program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in Valley Stream with total knee replacement patients, focusing on acupuncture to reduce the need for opioid drugs to manage post-surgical pain.

“The opioid epidemic is a big deal, and there’s a lot of literature to show that acupuncture can help,” Gade said.

Thanks to additional staffing, Gade said the center was expanding its acupuncture hours to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, noon to 7 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays.

One-on-one services are offered at the center as well as a new group session, which combines restorative yoga poses and optional acupuncture needles in the hands, feet and head for stress reduction, balance and pain management.

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