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Boone Healing Arts Center Art Center Celebrates Grand Opening: A Holistic Treatment Wellness Center

By Megan Northcote

Artwork donated by Toni Carlton, owner of the Carlton Gallery in Foscoe, decorates the walls in the Synergy Room. Photo by Megan Northcote

Nov. 6, 2012. There are not many medical offices in the country where you can receive acupuncture treatment for a sore back from a Chinese medicine specialist, have your food allergies treated by a certified kinesiologist and receive skin care treatments from a licensed message and body works therapist all under one roof.

But that’s exactly what you’ll find at Boone Healing Arts Center, a holistic treatment wellness center, located near the Watauga Hospital at 838 State Farm Road.

On Monday, the Center celebrated its grand opening and began accepting clients.

Two years ago when David Salter, Center Director, met Christina Howe, they both realized they shared a passion for holistic health treatments and alternative medicines, which provide total wellness for a person’s mind, body and spirit.

Salter and Howe spoke with many practitioners of holistic health treatments about collaborating to form a healing arts center in Boone.

One of these practitioners was Caroline Stahlschmidt.

Practitioner and Center Coordinator Caroline Stahlschmidt (left), David Salter, Center Director (center) and receptionist Nikki Lopez (right) were present for the grand opening of the Boone Healing Arts Center on Monday. Photo by Megan Northcote

As a certified yoga instructor and transformational health coach, she works to help boost people’s energy to make positive health changes in their daily lives.

Stahlschmidt said she made the decision to focus more on her own wellness when her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer several years ago, prompting her to leave her 15 year career in the computer software industry.

Fusing Salter’s business consulting background with Howe’s training as an integrative psychotherapist and yoga instructor, the couple made the perfect team for turning their dream into a reality – opening a healing arts center featuring 14 practitioners of complementary holistic modalities, including Stahlschmidt, who also serves as the Center Coordinator.

This collaborative model offers the best results for both client and practitioner.

“Clients can come here to see many practitioners and because the practitioners work so well together, they can easily refer clients to one another,” Stahlschmidt said. “We’re about taking the approach of preventing a disease rather than responding to it. Overall health and well being is our goal.”

Eventually, the center hopes to offer package deals, where multiple practitioners treat one client for the same problem, such as chronic migraines, Stahlschmidt said.  

“The basic philosophy is to keep people healthy so they don’t have to face a doctor,” Salter said. “As opposed to an individual going to somebody’s office, where one man gives you a message, this is a completely different thing. We have tremendous synergy among our practitioners.”

Psychotherapist practitioner Jo Ann Orr settles in to her new office in the Boone Healing Arts Center. Photo by Megan Northcote

Much like a private practice, practitioners are still given the flexibility to set their own hours and own prices, Stahlschmidt said.  

Because the treatment sessions are not covered by insurance, Salter expects the Center to attract a middle to upper class clientele, primarily women, mostly from the High Country. In the future, Salter hopes the Center expands its business further off the mountain. 

This March, Salter purchased a two-story building right in the heart of the Watauga medical district, formerly the Watauga Eye Center and began renovations. 

Designers were tasked with the challenge of converting a series of traditional doctors’ offices into a warm, inviting community space.

Throughout the Center, the walls are decorated with the artwork of Toni Carlton, owner of the Carlton Gallery in Foscoe, NC. His work, which is all for sale, features pastel colors and Chinese calligraphy symbols, representing harmony and balance.

On the first floor, clients step inside a high-ceiling lobby surrounded by glass windows and are greeted by a receptionist. 

While waiting for their appointment, clients may browse through a health boutique, which will feature the practitioners’ recommended products, including yoga mats and skin care products.

Clients are then ushered into a wing of 14 practitioners’ offices, most of who live in or around the High Country, Salter said.

Practitioners include everyone from traditional message therapists, specializing in deep tissue, hot stone and herbal body wrap treatments to acupuncturists specializing in facial rejuvenation, addictions treatments and Chinese herbal medicine remedies.

Each of the 14 practitioners have their own room for seeing clients, much like this one. Photo by Megan Northcote

The Center will also have psychotherapists focusing on empowerment counseling and mind-body awareness as well as nutritional counselors and transformational health coaches like Stahlschmidt.

Other practitioners are trained in more advanced treatments, not widely available in Boone, including rolfing and the Alexander Technique.

Practitioner Allie Burleson is the only certified rolfer in town. Through the rolfing process, the body’s connective tissues are manipulated to help rebalance the body and bring relief from chronic pain, stress and injury.

Corinne Cassini works as part time practitioner and part time adjunct professor at Appalachian State University as a certified Alexander Technique instructor.

Commonly utilized by actors or musicians, this technique is designed to raise a person’s level of self-awareness of their thoughts, movements, and breathing in their daily activities, Stahlschmidt said. For example, a person might chose to become more conscious of how they sit in a chair to reduce back pain.

“When you look at the scope of the modalities that we have, it is to me quite amazing what exists under this roof right now,” Salter said. “And we hope to add other modalities. We have a few spaces left.”

A room has already been designated for the future infrared sauna, a light-based sauna designed to reduce inflammation, help with weight loss, remove toxins from the body.

Many of the practitioners hope to incorporate the infrared sauna into their sessions, Stahlschmidt said.  For instance, infrared sauna might paired with herbal body wraps treatment. 

The second floor features a community kitchen where healthy eating cooking classes will be offered to the public. Photo by Megan Northcote

Stahlschmidt’s favorite part of the new center is on the second floor featuring a community kitchen opening into the Synergy Room both carved out of a series of three doctors’ offices.

To attract more community members who may not be able to afford an individual session with a practitioner, the Synergy Room offers workshops, classes and special events. All classes are open to the public and some are free of charge.

Weekly community classes include gentle yoga, tai-chi, and meditation and are $12 per class.

Special workshops include continuing education classes for massage therapy, in-house and guest speakers from the medical community, art classes for children and plant-based cooking classes led by Stahlschmidt. 

For more information about upcoming classes, workshops and special events, visit the Boone Healing Arts website at http://www.bhacboone.com/