Welcome to Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine’s “Honoring Women” Thirteenth Anniversary issue! With all of the challenges to so many aspects of our wellness going on this year, we hope to support and inspire you with a closer view of a few of the many U.P. women working to support our wellness holistically.
For some, this can take many forms. Kate Lewandowski coaches breathwork (Breathe Well, Be Well) dance, yoga, massage, and healthy mental practices in Marquette. She also co-owns several businesses, including comprehensive wellness and play center BeWell Marquette, a Thai massage school, and a juice bar – BeWell Elixirs.
Kate explains, “I want people to leave feeling inspired and worthy, more worthy than when they walked in. There are so many right ways, and helping people see and discover that—that’s a motivating piece of it for me.”
Currently, BeWell Marquette’s group classes include mindfulness, movement therapy, self-massage, yoga, dance, Tai Chi, breathwork, and sound baths. Various practitioners are also offering massage, physical therapy, breathwork, sound therapy, clinical herbalism, private yoga therapy, and health coaching. Time can also be booked in BeWell Marquette’s salt room.
“The endless striving to be a successful human, and also the desire to help others be successful human beings,” inspired Kate to go into this line of work. She clarifies, “In part, that means being present to what’s happening and what’s being asked of us. In my case, I’m not the dreamer. Somebody else has grand ideas, and my task is to say yes to whatever needs to be manifested around me.”
She first got into health and wellness as a veterinarian and practiced medicine for several years before realizing her focus was to help people connect to the world around them and each other more than to work with animals. Before her holistic career, Kate worked as a landscaper, a jewelry designer as she and her partner were traveling, and as a wildlife researcher in the field.
Kate observes, “It doesn’t matter what we do; it’s the integrity we bring to what we do; it’s how we go about it that’s important.”
Kate’s favorite part of her work is “seeing the a-ha moments in individuals, hearing the feedback of ‘I’m feeling great,’ ‘this was helpful,’ those personal successes.”
“There’s so much suffering around that I feel is optional (pain is not optional but suffering is), and finding these ways to help…. There are so many options,” Kate adds. After exploring various healing modalities, she has returned to the basics of breath and mind. Kate declares, “The simplicity and power of a nourishing breath and nurturing thoughts are incomparable.”
Melissa Copenhaver of Suunta Wellness in Marquette provides holistic health nursing services, auricular acupuncture, and energy work, as well as social and emotional therapy, with a focus on children. She also collaborates and supports other resources for those who have experienced trauma, such as with the Child Advocacy Center and sexual assault examinations, and is an Associate Professor in Mental Health Nursing at Northern Michigan University.
Melissa explains, “Someone seeking holistic nursing services can expect to meet with a nurse to review a health history and identify the goal(s) they want to work on. Together the nurse and the client identify what interventions would be most helpful in reaching their goal(s). Auricular acupuncture originated in the treatment of addictions, but the five points in the ear have also shown promise for addressing things like anxiety and insomnia.” She adds, “Holistic nursing energy work involves the nurses using their hands to help restore balance and harmony through working with the human energy field or life force. I have been using these practices in my work for several years now.”
Melissa started out as a public health nurse. She says, “I always had an interest in health prevention. It seems our health care system is designed to address things once they cause significant impact. Public health nursing works from a prevention standpoint and is relationship-based. As a public health nurse, I was able to work with the same families for several years. We really build a relationship, and we’re able to come up with ways to promote their health. And I think there’s just a healing and therapeutic impact from the relationship.”
“Eventually, I began to realize that if we’re looking at public health, we have to look at mental health, and that my public health nursing work was missing that social and emotional component,” Melissa describes. “I understand that every client comes in with their own story, and possibly a story that includes trauma. And so, I make sure that I’m doing my best to create a safe place for them.”
Melissa says, “I’m so fortunate because I do a lot of different things and I really enjoy all the things I do. It really comes back to those relationships, and also those opportunities to collaborate with individuals to improve their health by empowering them, showing them that the changes they want to make are possible, and that I’m going to be there for them to support their making those changes.”
Reiki practitioner and Reiki Master Penny Seidl of Crystal Haven Body, Mind & Spirit LLC works with individuals as well as animals to help bring relaxation, stress reduction, comfort, support, and pain reduction. Penny explains, “The Reiki energy comes from Source or a Higher Power. It draws in universal life force energy, bringing that back into the body to help attain a natural balance. And I’m the conduit connecting the person with the energy.”
Penny also sometimes incorporates crystal work, utilizing the vibrations that come naturally from the crystals within a Reiki session, or separately. “All living things have a vibration, and so do other items, such as crystals. A frequency is emitted from everything here on earth. Oftentimes people find it hard to grasp that there’s energy coming from a crystal or a mineral. However, old school-style watches have quartz in them to help the mechanism keep time due to the frequency emitted. Most cell phones have LCD screens. That’s liquid crystal developed by Marcel Vogel when working with IBM many years ago. He got crystals to generate energy to show images. Crystals are all around us, and within our everyday lives.
When I use crystals with people, they help bring harmony and relaxation back to the body to help balance return.
I focus on the seven main chakra (energy center) points of the body from head to toe, utilizing the stones I feel would be best for the situation at hand, and for the result we’re hoping to obtain. Individuals are always clothed, often with a blanket over them, on a massage type table. I’ll use the appropriate crystals directly on the body, and also around the body to help with the containment and movement of energy.”
Penny provides her private sessions at a studio in Laurium, and also does crystal placement for individuals throughout their property, helping them create crystal grids for bringing peace and relaxation to their homes.
She started collecting crystals at age four, and comes from a family that used to make jewelry. “I grew up with crystals always around me. Over time, my collections grew, and also my willingness to learn more about earth sciences. Eventually, I noticed whenever I went to a gem or rock shop, I came away feeling either really drained or really energized. I couldn’t put together why, so I started looking into it further. I realized, I’m actually feeling this! It’s not made up. It does affect me! By age thirteen, I began obtaining knowledge from wherever I could about the different properties of crystals throughout the world. And my collection’s started to become very heavy!”
Later, energy work drew Penny because of the relaxation and comfort she experienced when receiving it.
“I enjoyed being immersed within that light. I wanted to learn how to do that for myself, and eventually completed training in the three levels of Reiki and the Master teacher training in the Usui tradition, the original Reiki training that came available.” Penny currently offers online classes, teaching others how to do this for themselves, their friends, and their clients too, if they decide to have a practice.
Penny also appreciates how well Reiki works with other therapies, whether they’re medical, physical therapy, chiropractic, or massage, and how relaxing and re-energizing it can be. “It’s like a tune-up,” she enthuses. “Results vary, however, 99.5% of the time, people experience centering, quieting of the mind, connecting the body, mind, and spirit as one. I like being part of facilitating that… It’s just a thrill to see people thrive.”
Many of Bonnie Cronin’s clients turn to her at Marquette’s North Shore Naturopathic and Acupuncture after they’ve gone to a conventional doctor and their lab results come back normal, but they don’t feel well. They may have less energy, hormonal imbalances, digestive problems, or a combo of these or other issues.
Bonnie says, “Initially, I sit with the person and discuss their history, and all their chief complaints. Then I review all the systems to get a good sense of their overall health…” including their digestion, stress level, support network, social outlets, exercise, and the amount and quality of food and water they consume.
“I see a lot of people with autoimmune issues, so we might work on digestive health, even though they might not have any symptoms. I might do an IgG food panel to check for delayed hypersensitivity reactions which would cause pain and inflammation in the body,” Bonnie explains.
“Then we might do things to help you with nutrients that can be beneficial and replenish good flora in the gut to help repair it. Vitamin D is very important for autoimmune tendencies. It decreases the inflammatory process that’s heightened in autoimmune disorders.” And in some cases, simply eliminating an aggravating food substance has relieved long-term chronic pain and other issues.”
Bonnie adds, “We try to figure out which systems are out of balance, and use the least-force intervention to create change.
With licensure, which naturopaths can obtain in certain states, we can prescribe pharmaceuticals if needed. I think a majority of things can be treated naturally, but there’s a time and a place for conventional interventions, such as treating a kidney infection. But if it were a urinary tract infection, I would treat it with high dose herbs.”
“I think at any age we should feel vibrant, energetic, not have a lot of pain, and be able to do the things we want to do. So that’s my focus when I work on people,” Bonnie declares. “And I also do acupuncture based on traditional Chinese principles to support the systems that are out of balance. Acupuncture is probably best known for pain management as it helps release endorphins, helping people to feel relaxed and handle pain better. It can also be really helpful for digestive issues, blood sugar levels, and other health issues.”
Bonnie always wanted to go into natural health,
and based on what she knew of such careers when in high school, she thought she’d become a chiropractor or physical therapist. “I was very into exercise therapy and diet,” Bonnie explains. “While working on my pre-med degree at Northern Michigan University in the ’90s, I met Vicki Lockwood and learned homeopathy from her. That opened the door to herbs and other dietary things. Then I came across some info on naturopathic medicine and I realized this was it!”
“With naturopathic medicine, we’re always trying to get to the root cause, not just treat symptoms, and use the least-force intervention to create change,” describes Bonnie. “So we work with diet and lifestyle, vitamins, minerals, and botanicals before any kind of pharmaceutical intervention.”
Bonnie also notes acupuncture may offer immediate results for pain relief, hormone regulation, and elimination of allergy symptoms with even one or a few treatments. “Some naturopathic practices can take a couple of weeks or months before showing results. Acupuncture can be a great tool for immediate and also long-standing results.” she explains.
“I just love seeing people take charge of their own health. I want people to feel empowered,” Bonnie enthuses. “We can feel good for the rest of our lives if we take good care of ourselves. That’s what I love.”
Excerpted with permission from the Fall 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC. All rights reserved.