Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Greenbelt wellness center offers holistic approach to good health

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Greenbelt’s Belle Point Wellness Center, which opened earlier this month, offers county residents an alternative to traditional health care, providing options like Reiki and psychotherapy, as well as academic tutoring and counseling.

Hyattsville resident Carolyn Lorente, a child development expert and co-owner of the center, said Belle Point, located at 7935 Belle Point Drive, was established to offer a multi-faceted approach to a person’s physical and mental well being.

‘‘We offer both evidence-based practices for mental health combined with traditional practices of health and wellness, like acupuncture and massage therapy,” said Lorente, 42. ‘‘Among the services, we also offer clinical social workers and an academic tutor. We are looking at a multi-disciplinary approach for health and wellness, not just the medical model. Doing what really works and helps people.”

Co-owner Robert Soley of Greenbelt said the center provides a holistic approach—an examination of internal and external systems that affects health and mental welling being—for health and wellness.

‘‘Our belief is that the body and mind are connected. Anything that affects you emotionally affects you physically and vice versa,” Soley, 57, said. ‘‘What we’re looking at is getting to the root of the problem. Say someone is depressed. Many people might get a pill from their doctor but finding out why they are depressed in the first place is not examined.”

Erin Bradley, county health department spokeswoman said the Belle Point Wellness Center is not the only wellness center in the county. County-operated health wellness centers include the Suitland Health and Wellness Center and the Women’s Wellness Center in Suitland.

Services offered at those centers include health assessments and case management for women 18 to 44 years old, a fitness center and preventive care against heart disease and diabetes.

Mount Rainier resident Nan Astone said she likes the Greenbelt wellness center because she and her family can get help with multiple things.

‘‘My son, Daniel has been receiving tutoring from Mr. Soley. My son gets help with his organizational and reading skills,” Astone, 51, said. ‘‘I even experienced Reiki for the first time there. When I was real stressed, it definitely got me to calm down.”

The center is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Costs for services vary.