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Wellness center offers holistic alternative in Hernando

Yoga students pack up from a class in the movement studio at WellCome PM Holistic Wellness Center in Spring Hill. Tai Chi, Native dance and kick boxing also are on the studio schedule. [Beth N. Gray]

SPRING HILL – Wellness through attention to body, mind and spirit is the aim for adults, students and even pets at WellCome Om Holistic Wellness Center, a unique and recent addition to lifestyle education in Hernando County.

Opened with a full range of offerings this fall, the institute is housed in three architecturally dynamic buildings, extending to open-air learning spaces in a leafy, six-acre campus at 4242 Lake in the Woods Drive, just off Commercial Way.

Founder Dr. Maria Scunziano Singh is a physician of internal medicine with another diploma in naturopathic medicine. In establishing the center over several years, she explained, “I have always wanted to bring truth to the public for living healthier, (with) a more balanced body, mind and spirit, and to know there is something beyond therapeutical, surgical and pharmaceutical.” The concept embodies the holistic approach she’s developed over her 58 years.

“All things we have,” Singh continued, “can be for improvement of health overall, to enhance wellness. We don’t have to treat things.”

Under Singh’s direction, eight on-site professional staffers are joined regularly by guest practitioners and consultants to lead processes, she said, “to awaken, to educate and to nurture” and to prevent illness.

At WellCome, meditation focuses on wakefulness, said administrator Natalya Musallam, a registered medical assistant with a college degree in health and wellness. The center educates through speakers and hands-on activities.

Among the facilities, “the salt room has really taken off,” Musallam said. The comfortably heated room is akin to a beach with salt crystals instead of sand underfoot, pressed salt walls and salt embedded in the ceiling. Treatment in the room is said to reduce respiratory inflammation, improve breathing and fight bacteria.

The dry heat, infrared sauna for whole-body detoxification is drawing approval from those who find wet saunas overly intense, she said.

In a sparkling stainless steel commercial kitchen, a visiting chef offers periodic cooking classes, showcasing plant-based dishes with new preparations, a particular hit with vegans and vegetarians, Singh said.

Organic edibles, body essentials and a range of eco-friendly products are for sale at the center’s Conscious Market. Among them are honey, vegetable oils, seeds, dried herbs, fresh bulk greens in season, as well as kitchen gadgets, goat milk soaps, local artisan jewelry and crafts.

Market workshops have focused on using essential oils and concocting one’s own body and skin products.

The outdoor landscape is edible, Musallam noted, pointing out lemongrass hedges, pineapple plants, fig and peach trees, and healing herbs.

In the movement studio, classes practice several forms of yoga, plus tai chi, kick-boxing, tribal belly dance, Latin dance, Pilates and guided meditation. Whole health includes attention to the arts, Singh believes, and a series of weekly classes on the subject begins in late January.

Special for teens is the iEmpower Club, which teaches leadership skills, making a difference and providing opportunities to earn community service hours.

As for pets, a recent lecture dealt with the use of essential oils for their benefit. Healthy pet treats are available at the Conscious Market.

Center memberships are available starting at an introductory $20. Massage starts at $45, movement classes, from $15. Details are available on the website, WellComeOMCenter.com.

A number of lectures and activities are offered free to the public. The center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Community and special events may be scheduled evenings and Sundays.

Contact the writer at graybethn@earthlink.net.

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