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Alternative health centre booming.

Timmins-area residents are choosing alternative avenues for their health care needs at the Whole Body Wellness Centre.



Dr. Luc Lemire, chiropractor, Nancy Penttila, registered massage therapist and Cindy Hautanen, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, have seen a tremendous increase in the number of people walking through their doors that want to experience a health care model based upon preventative measures.

"The focus is to take care of people's health, not their sickness," says owner Lemire.

Since opening the centre in 2003, Lemire has tripled his income from the time he began his practice in 2002, and Penttila, who has been in business for six years, has a waiting list up to one year. Hautanen has seen her clientele increase by 75 per cent since she arrived 10 months ago.

Located in a quiet neighbourhood off the main downtown corridor in Timmins, the clinic was transformed from a mechanic's garage into a clinic.

It opened in January 2003 with Lemire and Penttila at the helm offering their services. The husband and wife team believe their professions complement each other. Timmins native Hautanen, the newest member, joined the team in the spring of 2005. To her knowledge, she is the only practitioner in northeastern Ontario licensed under the government-regulated College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in British Columbia, regarded as North America's highest standard.

What makes the centre so progressive is its focus: preventing problems or sickness before they arise by restoring balance to the body, and education.

Lemire says the concept of "whole body" developed out of addressing the physical, chemical and emotional stresses people endure on a daily basis.


"What we can do for people working as a team, is much better," he says.

Lemire treats the body before it reaches the symptomatic stage using a computerized scanning device called Insight Millennium. He calls it the most highly advanced technology available to the chiropractic profession. Although around since the mid-1940s, Lemire says it has only been in use in chiropractor's offices for the last 10 years.

"So rather than basing my analysis on how you are feeling, I can base it on how you function," he says.

The device detects nerve disturbances before physical symptoms appear by measuring nerve impulses as they flow through the muscles. It also measures the autonomic nervous system (system that controls bodily functions such as the heartbeat) with infrared thermography (temperature readings). Through this monitoring, patients can visibly see improvement over a period of time.

"Most things in the human body are not detected at a conscious level," Lemire says. "So with the scan, I can get in there and see how the nerves are functioning before you have a symptom."

If a misalignment chokes off the nerve supply to the various organs in the body, called subluxation, the machine detects it and Lemire realigns the bones.

"That's the goal of chiropractic," he says. "To free up your nerve supply so that your body can express itself the way it was designed to."

Lemire says most health care begins at the symptomatic stage (when one feels pain), which inevitably requires more time and energy to repair than if the patient had been proactive about his health.

Massage therapy and traditional Chinese medicine also support the same philosophy with methods that restore harmony and balance to the body in order to maintain a healthy life.

Penttila decided preventative medicine was more appealing after nursing for a year. She offers three types of massage: deep tissue, relaxing, and hot stone. All are designed to get rid of toxins, realigns muscle fibers, and increase blood flow, nutrients and oxygen to the muscles.

Hautenan performs a combination of therapies, including acupuncture, moxibustion (burning the herb mugwort in conjunction with acupuncture), cupping (a cup is applied to the skin to remove toxins, increase blood flow and realign the flow of qi-energy), Tui na (Chinese massage and acu-pressure) and Qi-Gong ("chee kung"), a type of exercise similar to Tai Chi.

Lemire says although the Chinese medicine is still fairly new, it is "very well aligned with what we do."

In addition to their services, they offer monthly seminars, educating people about their services and how to maintain healthy bodies and lifestyles. Hautenan teaches Qi-Gong classes through Northern College and also offers monthly information sessions.


Northern Ontario Business
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Special report
Author:Larmour, Adelle
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Feb 1, 2006
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