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At wellness center, East coexists with West

May 07, 2006|By CANDICE BOSELY

SMITHSBURG

Even the goldfish in a small aquarium on the receptionist's counter seemed to benefit from the services offered at Healing Waters Wellness Center. Despondent when it first came to the office, the fish perked up and now swims constantly after being the recipient of a Reiki treatment.

It's an anecdote, yes, but also a microcosm of the healing powers that Linda D. Potts said she believes can arise at the Smithsburg center, which she owns.

Potts, a registered nurse who previously worked in an emergency room, said she knows firsthand how alternative medicine can be beneficial.

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Potts said that she was chronically ill for six years, diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and Lyme disease. At times she was bedridden and found walking a few steps to reach a bathroom rife with excruciating pain.

For the former personal trainer who liked to go white-water rafting, run and go backpack canoeing, a warning from her doctor that the condition might be lifelong was unbearable, she said.

At first Potts, 48, sought treatment via traditional Western medicine, but doctors could not figure out what to do. Working with her family physician, Potts said she'd like to try alternative medicine.

When she underwent a bio-energetic screening, it showed that parasites that had been lingering in her body for decades were at the root of her problems, she said.

From 1969 to 1971 her family lived in Thailand while her father worked as a civilian for the Navy. She said the parasites likely came from visits to the Philippines.

Treatments with herbs, homeopathic medicines, acupuncture and other forms of detoxification worked and, two years ago, the woman who said she had never imagined opening a business became trained and started doing bio-energetic screenings from an office.

She opened the wellness center at 38 E. Water St., in Smithsburg's former post office, in January. In addition to bio-energetic screenings, five other practitioners offer Reiki, reflexology, therapeutic massage, noninsertion Toyohari acupuncture, voice stress assessment emotional balancing, lymphatic drainage, Shiatsu massage, ion cleanse foot bath, far infrared dry sauna, and skin care consultations.

Pilates mat classes also are offered.

A bio-energetic screening involves sitting in a chair next to Potts, who sits before a computer. A small pen-like device is placed at two points on each person's fingers and toes.

Those 40 points then correspond with places on a person's body and the screening corresponds with a graph chart on the computer, displaying where imbalances exist in a person's body, Potts said.

"I then try to identify what frequencies are interfering with the energy flow," Potts said, adding that she does not diagnose any conditions.

Herbal remedies can be used to try to allow a person's body to regain its balances and Potts incorporates a person's prescription medications.

In that way she is different from some alternative medicine practitioners who disassociate themselves entirely from traditional Western medicine treatments.

"My main purpose here is to be a bridge between Western medicine and Eastern medicine," Potts said. "I want people to understand it's an 'and' world, not an 'or' world."

During the screening, which takes about two hours, Potts also discusses with a client his or her lifestyle, including diet and how lifestyle changes can help the healing process.

Getting rid of parasites, which are more common than most people realize, is important, she said, as is cleaning a person's digestive system.

The most common purposes for the bio-energetic screening are kidney, liver and digestive system problems, and people arriving with a diagnosis of Lyme disease are becoming more common, Potts said.

A popular detoxification method at the center is the ion cleanse foot bath. For that a small tub is filled with water.

Reflexology, Reiki

After a client places his or her feet in the water, the water begins to change colors, which Potts said shows that positive and negative ions in the water have pulled toxins from the person's body. The colors correspond to different toxins, she said.

The 30-minute process is an easy and effective way to detoxify without causing "a healing crisis" - detoxifying too quickly, she said.

For reflexology, Potts shows how points on the palms of a person's hands and on the soles of their feet correspond to different areas of a person's body.

She gave as an example a situation in which a woman complaining of pain to the bottom, rear portion of her foot underwent a bio-energetic screening that showed she had a serious condition with her small intestine.

Potts then showed the woman a chart on the wall in the reflexology room - showing that the painful area on the woman's sole directly correlates to a person's small intestine.

"Her body is speaking to her," Potts said. "Your body is designed to heal itself, which I think is just awesome."

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