Holistic center attracts alternative medicine practices (12/3/09)

Dec. 3, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

For those seeking alternative healing practices, a growing facility in Williston is working to become a one-stop resource for non-traditional health and medicine.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
Rahn Bouffard stands in the vibroacoustic massage room at Satori Mind Spa. The spa is the newest business to open in the Holistic Healing Center of Williston.

Perched on a rise just outside Taft Corners and occupying a former farmhouse is the Holistic Healing Center of Williston. In existence since the spring with two independent practices, the center is expanding with the recent addition of a third business.

The building, which once housed DEW Construction, is owned by Williston restaurateur David Herskowitz and his wife, Chris. It is located at 37 Talcott Road.

Chris Herskowitz is also the owner of Body Connections, an alternative physical therapy practice and the first business to open in the center. She said the flexibility of opening her own business and creating a destination for holistic medicine appealed to her.

The idea of the center came about when Herskowitz said she believed there was a need for more holistic health-oriented practices within Williston.

Holistic health generally refers to treating a patient’s physical, mental and social needs as a whole in healing.

For Dr. Stewart Cohen, who runs his private acupuncture practice at the healing center, the proximity to his home in Williston and easy access for his patients made for a perfect spot. Cohen’s practice was located in downtown Burlington since 1995, but many of his patients come from outside the Queen City.

“My patient base extends as far south as Vergennes and out as far as Stowe, Fairfax and St. Albans,” Cohen said. “Williston is fairly central.”

Herskowitz said the building has enough rooms that any business could create its own flexible space. She also said other practices are interested in renting more offices within the holistic center. The newer wing is available for rent, whether for holistic medicine or another type of business, she added.

The idea of the facility appealed to massage therapist Rahn Bouffard. He opened Satori Mind Spa in late October. He uses vibroacoustic technology to help calm and heal bodies. He moved his business from Barre this year.

Bouffard said his clients lie on a specially designed massage table rigged with speakers to allow music to flow from table to body. He said patients find the experience helps soothe the entire nervous system, which in turn reduces stress, anxiety and other tensions.

“(Vibroacoustics) induces a deep state of relaxation and meditation,” Bouffard said. “It facilitates the natural healing process.”

Bouffard said he works with clients to tailor each session specifically for them. Sessions run for 30 minutes.

At Cohen’s acupuncture practice, he helps patients dealing with chronic aches and pains. Many of his clients turn to him after traditional methods fail. Acupuncture is an age-old Eastern healing method that uses tiny needles inserted in different points in the body to alleviate pain.

Cohen said acupuncture can coexist with traditional medical practices and many doctors urge patients to try acupuncture alongside typical Western treatments.

“It’s one approach to medicine and medicine is about the health of human beings and in that way, all medicine is true,” Cohen explained.

Chris Herskowitz at Body Connections also helps ease pain, but through unique approaches to physical therapy. By helping the mind, the body can heal far easier, she said.

“I combine traditional techniques with an holistic approach,” she said.

Herskowitz, who’s been involved with physical therapy for more than 15 years, said she takes a patient approach to her clients in helping them continue the healing process.


To contact Herskowitz about Body Connections, e-mail her at bodyconnectionschris@gmail.com. For Dr. Stewart Cohen, acupuncturist, call 862-2273. Cohen is available Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For Satori Mind Spa, call 498-5555 for an appointment. E-mail atman@satorimindspa.com or visit www.satorimindspa.com more information. The spa is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or by special appointment.