by Karen G. Meshkov
Pura Vida Wellness Shop and Studio, in Huntingdon Valley, is a holistic health and healing resource center with a selection of premium vitamins, supplements, herbs and oils, as well as onsite classes and workshops in a variety of healing arts. The center opened its doors in January and is a destination for Eastern Montgomery County residents seeking holistic, supportive care for a host of chronic and acute conditions, including Lyme disease.
The center is proudly “womanned” by Sharon Doyle, who has worked in health and wellness for over 25 years and is certified from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and Lynn Roberts, a longtime yoga and meditation teacher, Western herbalist and Kripalu-trained ayurvedic practitioner.
While Doyle and Roberts are at the ready to provide personalized counsel to help whomever comes into their shop, both are adamant that people see their primary doctor immediately if they suspect they have Lyme disease. “We want people diagnosed with Lyme to utilize our individualized supplements and protocol simultaneously with their conventional treatment,” stresses Doyle. “We work alongside physicians; we are not meant to replace them.”
“Within the first two months, it’s very important to go to the doctor and do the traditional medical protocol,” adds Roberts.
Pura Vida’s capabilities include creating custom healing plans for people with Persistent Lyme Disease Syndrome, or PLDS. Treatments, like herbal healing, can start as soon as an individual begins taking prescribed antibiotics. Roberts explains that herbalism is a practice that constantly evolves with the client, especially with Lyme disease, as the drugs and herbs commonly used can become resistant to the condition.
Pura Vida’s Lyme disease care plans involve a variety of supplements that are effective with a patient’s respective symptoms. A sample program can include turmeric or curcumin, both known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, and colloidal silver, an antibacterial agent. “We often use grapefruit seed or resveratrol to help fight the co-infections that can often occur with Lyme,” says Doyle.
Doyle adds that because of the vast number of ways that dysfunction can manifest in the body, there is no cookie-cutter protocol for Lyme disease. Each new client at Pura Vida undergoes a personalized assessment to gain an understanding of the patient’s health history and current presenting symptoms. “No one is going to get the same treatment as anyone else,” says Doyle.
Doyle and Roberts take a similar approach to helping clients that live with cancer, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol, heart health, digestion, skin, stress or sleep conditions.
In addition to health coaching services, Pura Vida offers classes and workshops in a variety of healing and restorative modalities, including yoga, reiki, reflexology and creative classes, which are valuable to those in the process of healing and rebuilding their immunity.
Also a veterinary nurse, Doyle stocks the shop with products for pets, too. “We have organic preventative products and also supplements that are designed to be safe for animals’ systems,” Doyle says. “If they need antibiotics, that’s where a good compounding pharmacy comes in, and we work closely with them as well.”
Pura Vida will host a free, special event, Getting to the Bottom of Lyme Disease, from noon to 2 p.m., August 12. RSVP via email.
Karen G. Meshkov is publisher and director of advertising partnerships for Natural Awakenings of Bucks and Montgomery Counties.