- Tucked away on the third floor of the Southampton Hospital
, unbeknownst to many East Enders, is the Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute, which uses mind/body medicine to promote health and well being to its patients. The program, which was formed several years ago, provides patients with an integrative approach to medicine, which empowers them to be proactive in their own health management.
Wellness Institute exam room. (Nicole A. Flotteron)
The Wellness Institute offers a wide variety of services and classes to patients who are coping with an illness, as well as to patients who are healthy and wish to continue living a healthy lifestyle.
The philosophy behind the program is that stress has a negative impact on your immune system, and is known to exacerbate illness, however, by having stress under control, you're better prepared to deal with disease, heal and react to standard medicine.
For Program Manager Jessica Swiatocha
, getting patients to lead a healthy lifestyle is a crucial part of keeping them healthy and managing disease. The Wellness Institute has a functional medicine program which focuses on preventing illness as opposed to treating already existing symptoms. "When you go to the doctor's office, they're able to give you a prescription, but we're looking at doing the other portion, and making you feel completely whole...not just fixing part of the problem," she explained.
The functional medicine program is led by family practice and anti-aging specialist Dr. Alex Aponte
, who takes a comprehensive look at a patient in order to evaluate what threats a patient might face in the future, as well as to help better manage existing problems.
In conjunction with standard medical practices, Dr. Aponte uses a variety of treatments, services and therapies to help patients deal with their specific needs. The services offered by the Wellness Institute include massage therapy, nutritional counseling, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, personal training, yoga, Pilates, Tai-Chi, art therapy, meditation, and much more. "The results patients are getting and bringing back to their family doctors have been beneficial to us," said Swiatocha.
The Wellness Institute offers illness specific programs to help patients manage weight loss, Parkinson's disease, Breast Cancer, Cardiac Disease and Diabetes. There are also prenatal and infant massage programs, as well as smoking cessation programs.
Cardiac Rehabilitation facility. (Nicole A. Flotteron)
The programs at the Wellness Institute are not limited to those who are ill; there are programs that everyone can benefit from. "We're looking to bring people to our services who aren't necessarily sick," explained Director of Rehabilitation Craig Homis
, "They can be clients who are healthy and want to stay that way. It's about prevention. It's about getting in front of disease."
Aside from their daily class schedule, the Wellness Institute also offers a variety of special programs, including a program targeted at women's health issues called "Girls Night Out." The program combines a lecture on important women's health issues in conjunction with a class such as yoga or Pilates.
They also offer private classes that can be tailor-made for private businesses. Currently, the Wellness Institute is offering classes for teachers in East Hampton, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton and Tuckahoe Schools.
For Swiatocha, the programs offered by the Wellness Institute are crucial in both helping sick patients fight their disease and recover, and helping healthy patients maintain a high level of health. "I feel strongly that the future of medicine is integrative medicine, and that having a patient become a proactive part of their healthcare and be a participant instead of being told to take this or take that is what people are looking for now," she said.
With the success the Wellness Institute has experienced in its first few years in Southampton, they've decided to expand, and open a similar facility in Hampton Bays.
The Southampton Hospital Ed & Phyllis Davis Wellness Institute provides the community with a plethora of integrative treatments to help them live a healthy lifestyle. If you're not sure what programs you might benefit from, do not hesitate to call the Institute for guidance to help you meet your personal health goals. If you have never been to a class before at the Wellness Institute, they invite you to come and try a class free of charge.
Classroom for Yoga, Pilates and Tai-Chi. (Nicole A. Flotteron)
For more information, click here.