A collective path towards health!
6:42 pm

Digestive Health

 By Heven Anderson

Abdominal Massage is a form of medical massage that can benefit everyone. It focuses on those who have symptoms affecting their digestion, absorption, and elimination. Digestive health is important to our overall well being because it can affect many areas of our body.


This therapy effectively relieves congestion to all major organs by increasing lymph and blood circulation in the digestive tract thus allowing food to be processed easily. Digestive Health essentially helps control the entity of the body by balancing the mind and body in focus and life. Another aspect of digestive health is that it can be controlled and managed to better your health. For example, the breath comes from the stomach so with the digestive health therapy breathing becomes easier and a deeper sense of relaxation, mental clarity, and emotional rest are possible effects from this therapy.

One of our massage therapists, Madelin Semper, focuses on Digestive Health as a specialty here at Alchemy. She offers one on one services or coupled with Tom Eddins, our acupuncturist, to complete a digestive massage and cupping service.

Madelin Semper is also having an event titled “Self-Care for Digestive Health” on Saturday September 30 at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The cost will be $125 but you will joining Stephanie Hein, Herbalist & Educator, and Madelin Semper, Massage Therapist & Educator for this hands on class to learn how to apply self-care abdominal massage, herbs and foods to support your digestive health. To learn more, look on our website at alchemyboone.com or on Facebook as Alchemy, Center for Healing Therapies.

9:01 pm

"Cupping Therapy Rocks"

By: Tom Eddins and Heven Anderson

Cupping is a manual therapy in use for over 3000 years. It helps improve blood flow and reduce pain and inflammation in the areas which are cupped. It involves creating suction with a cup on the skin over areas of large muscles, such as the neck and shoulders, upper, middle and lower back and hips. Cupping can be used to ease headaches, abdominal pain, thoracic discomfort, muscle aches of the hips and low back, tense shoulders and much more.

Cupping involves the application of glass or plastic cups which adhere to the body through the use of a pump or by heat.  The most common method is by heat, which is done by waving a burning cotton ball that had been soaked in alcohol through the cup quickly to create a vacuum.  You do not feel the heat, but you will feel the cup pull up on the skin.  The cups are used over certain acupuncture points to treat internal conditions. Here they act to detoxify the organs they are intended to target. Cups are also used over areas of pain to treat muscular pain and tension. They create a myofascial decompression that helps fascial/connective tissue to release and relaxes muscular tension.

Once the cups are attached, they are generally left on for 5-15 minutes and are removed by simply pressing down on the skin and letting the air out.  They do leave a mark on the body which lasts for about 4-10 days depending on the condition.  The mark is very useful as a diagnostic tool – the darker the mark, the more stagnation there is in the muscles.  As the marks lighten through progressive treatments, it is a sign that the underlying conditions are improving.

Tom Eddins, L.Ac. regularly incorporates cupping into his acupuncture treatments to help relax areas being worked on or to strengthen internal organs. It also may be used as part of a combined massage and acupuncture treatment offered by Tom and Madelin Semper, LMBT. And Madelin and Elizabeth O’Connor, LMBT both practice cupping in their massage work. If you are interested in a 30 minute cupping treatment we also offer that at Alchemy.

11:15 pm

Ashtanga Yoga


Ashtanga style yoga is a system that involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures. The synchronizing produces intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. Essentially ashtanga yoga is an internal cleansing that combines breathing and movement that heats the blood, cleaning and thinning it so that it may circulate more freely. The improved blood circulation relieves joint pain and removes toxins and disease from the internal organs. The sweat generated from the heat carries the impurities out of the body. The body essentially becomes healthy, light and strong.

Ashtanga yoga focuses on the combining of three places of attention or action: posture, breathing system and looking place. Yoga, in general focuses on inner peace and a cleansing of the body and soul but Ashtanga style yoga creates an extra step to purify yourself through the practice. It covers three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and mind. These three levels of purification are always performed in conjunction with each other becoming Ashtanga Yoga.

If you want to experience the style of Ashtanga yoga, Alchemy will be offering it on Mondays at 10 a.m. starting August 14th. If you want more information, it will be available on our Facebook page soon!

10:13 am

Offering Prenatal Massage at Alchemy!

By: Heven Anderson

Therapeutic massage has been around for centuries and has helped improve many people’s health but prenatal massage has always been a topic of controversy. For years, people have argued whether or not therapeutic massage is good for your health or the baby’s health. But research has concluded that it is beneficial to both you and the baby’s health as you journey to a new step in your life. These benefits have helped develop a massage called prenatal massage that practitioners use to assist the pregnancy journey.

According to the American Pregnancy website, “prenatal massage therapy can be an instrumental ingredient in women’s prenatal care and should be given careful consideration.” Massage therapy being performed during pregnancy can help reduce anxiety, decrease symptoms of depression, relieve muscle aches and pains, and improve labor outcomes and newborn health meaning that both the mother and the child will be safe and their health improved because of prenatal massage therapy.

Prenatal Massage also has other benefits such as hormone regulation and swelling reduction. With massage therapy, your muscles are relaxed to where the hormones associated with stress are reduced and depression hormones are diminished. The hormone regulation associated with prenatal massage helps with reducing labor and newborn complications. Swelling is also reduced as massage allows for blood circulation to increase to areas where swelling occurs the most such as legs and feet.


With massage being recognized as proven way to help with prenatal issues is a great accomplishment in the research field as many mothers suffer from stress, aches and pains associated with pregnancy. But now with prenatal massage it can help reduce those occurrences and make the pregnancy a better journey.

Here at Alchemy, we do prenatal massage therapy so all of these benefits are at your reach. Practitioners at Alchemy are trained to assist you during your pregnancy by the work of a prenatal massage. Prenatal massages are a branch of myotherapy, in which we practice almost everyday, so you will have an experienced practitioner. The people here at Alchemy would be willing to make house calls if you experience a severity of pregnancy side effects that affect your mobility. To ensure your health continues after a prenatal massage, we would offer postnatal services to combat postpartum depression and help you realign with your natural health because looking after your health is important too. We at Alchemy offer this service to make your pregnancy easier the natural way.         


3:57 pm

Year Anniversary!

Five years ago a vision was born to have a place where community, massage and education came together. How can we use this platform to incite change, make this wonderful service accessible, and serve as ambassadors to increase the use of massage as a viable tool for medicine? Thus the Myo Clinic was born. Massage for People was our motto.

As of last June we have since evolved into a place where community, education and medicine come together. Alchemy turns one in a couple of weeks, but Alchemy was built on The Myo Clinic. The Myo Clinic lives on as part of the adventure based on an organic way of engaging a community. We now include Counseling, Acupuncture, Alexander technique, and as well as Massage. Massage is now part of a greater umbrella called Manual Medicine, which includes Myofascial, digestive, organ and nerve work. We are filling the gaps in medicine where after critical care and annual checkups, people are left on their own to navigate the world of wellness and healthcare.

Our bedrock is our commitment to the community. It's as simple as this.

When our local friendly police and sheriff, firemen and EMT are done with their rounds, we want to help their bodies heal faster and reorganize their nervous system after the hard realities of their respective work. When they are roasted from all year long of showing up day after day, we want to let them know we are here. We can unite with them to help to unwind and refocus.

We expanded this idea to teachers and social workers. Which led us to foster moms, the unsung heros. I met one who had been with over 150 kids who needed a home for 24 hours to 2 years. Her role was stressful, and so important.  

When this thread kept going, we were called into care for elderly, mothers and children, and the impoverished and homeless.

The one statistic that describes how this team has literally been working for not just their professional growth but for their personal ones.We have donated 3000 hours to our community in less than five years. That total represents 3 full time years worth in hours, This means so much to us. 

Our team takes their respective crafts very seriously and are true professionals. Through education we have an opportunity to become unique in our skills. It is how we gain knowledge. Practicing what we learn increases our knowledge base. In a beautiful circle, when we return to educate ourselves , we can increase our knowledge exponentially. At Alchemy, we have created access to education, and every therapist has grown. This allows us to be true to our personal craft, to grow during every session and to stay aware for the subtle changes that truly make the difference between a good session and one that leaves us in an amazing state. This enriches us as human beings, which shows up everywhere, including our work.

Our goal is to run a sustainable business model that nurtures all that involve themselves in Alchemy. As professionals alike, we inspire a space for our therapists to have purpose, abundance and a transcendent career. For our clients, we seek the Quantum leap of self healing with our guidance. The science of our medicine helps to organize the logistics of our sessions to improve health. The art of our medicine has less form and  is conditional on the person involved at that precise moment. We are part of the journey of life. We are perfect exactly as we are. Consciousness through a mindfulness practice can be as effective for back pain as any therapy known to man.

Alchemy blends these two worlds together. We thank you for trusting us with your bodies and minds. By supporting us, you help us to support our village.  

Tom Eddins, L.Ac.
11:53 am

Runner's Cool Down with Qigong Mindful Stretching

In this video Tom Eddins, L.Ac. covers a simple yet effective way to cool down and lengthen your muscles while also developing greater body awareness. Using qigong principles, he walks through a routine for lengthening the different musculo-skeletal lines reflected in the acupuncture channels. This qigong cool-down for runners is an excellent way to contain and balance the qi that is effectively scattered by running. In other words, when we run we spread out the flow of blood and fluids in the body and this is seen by the red in our face and sweat on our skin. One problem runners often face is a tendency to be cold when they are not running. If this is the case they often need to find ways to move and get the blood flowing while not overworking the cardiovascular system. Developing body awareness through mindful movement exercise like qigong or tai chi is a helpful place to start. These post run exercises also help to prevent cramping in the muscles by encouraging an awareness of how blood gathers in the belly of the muscles with repetitive use and therefore needs to be spread to the edges and into the tendons to prevent subsequent soreness. In this way the video adds a layer of awareness to the practice of "stretching". In other words, we should stretch not so much to stretch out the muscles like a piece of putty but to squeeze blood into the dense tendinous parts where they attach to bone. These tendinous areas tend to get brittle and dry and prone to injury when not kept well moistened and nourished by the blood and with the repetitive contraction we do during exercise we are gathering blood into the belly of the muscles. Therefore stretching with awareness and intention after exercise facilitates the muscles becoming more supple rather than stiff. If you like this video please subscribe to my channel. Also, if you're interested in learning more, there is an ongoing qigong / tai chi class at Alchemy Center for Healing Therapies, always open to beginners on Wed. morning's 10-11am and Thurs. evenings 5-6pm. Call Tom at (828)773-5032 for info.

7:32 am

Alexander Technique: A Walking Meditation

By Cole Goings

What is Alexander Technique? If you’re like me when I first started working at Alchemy, Center for Healing Therapies, you may not know.  In order to better understand it, I interviewed Dr. Rob Falvo, a teacher of Alexander Technique here at Alchemy and head of the percussion department at Appalachian State University.

Rob explained to me that Alexander Technique is based on noticing excess tension so that you can “break the chain of how you normally do things” to let your body move naturally. We all are conditioned and go about our daily lives moving habitually.  “How you are conditioned to think is how you move.”  While I took notes, Rob pointed out that I was unconsciously raising my right shoulder, thereby putting unnecessary strain on my body. There’s no specific posture when it comes to Alexander Technique, it’s a practice that places emphasis on the process rather than the end result.  When you are conscious of the process the end result takes care of itself. Alexander Technique is not a technique at all but rather a way of paying attention, a walking meditation.

I was curious what an Alexander Technique lesson entailed.  Rob was kind enough to walk me through one, explaining that it typically begins with a basic understanding of how the body moves naturally and how we typically interfere with it. With an interest in this work, you will change the way you do things thus moving with more ease and lightness.  In a lesson, the teacher can place their hands on different areas of the body, for instance, the shoulders, and interfere with the tension that the student is holding thus allowing the shoulder to lengthen out from the body.  Afterwards, students have described their shoulders as easier, lighter, longer, and found that they can breathe more fully.  Rob demonstrated by taking my arm and lengthening it out from the body, shifting my body into a more upright state, allowing my shoulders to relax themselves into a natural position. Sessions typically start in a chair, eventually transitioning to walking, while some lessons are given on a massage table. Alexander technique is noninvasive and the lesson is completed with the client fully clothed.

Falvo has been taking lessons in Alexander Technique for 24 years and teaching it for 10. I asked him what brought him to Alexander Technique. “Pain did.”  He was hurting from all the end-gaining (going for the end result without paying attention to the process) he was doing and all the fear he had while he was performing, teaching music, and living his life.   He found that taking Alexander Technique lessons not only relieved the pain but that his mind was more at peace. He found the Alexander Technique as a “life changer”.  Rob shared that due to Alexander Technique “life is typically easier.”

1:26 pm

The ABC’s of the Human Wellness and Vitality

In 1994 as a struggling junior Aeronautics major at Dowling College, I got a job as a Direct Care Counselor in a residential setting in NY. While I was there working with teenagers with autism, I received training in Applied Behavior Analysis, (ABA) a type of behavioral modification which uses positive reinforcement and other ideas developed by the late behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner.

In ABA the A,b, and c were short for Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence. Due to my ABA training, I applied to a school built for research for Columbia University’s Teachers College. We used ABA in this setting to help modify behavior of toddlers and preschool aged children with autism.

Simply put, if you give a command (antecedent) and the child elicits a desirable behavior, you reinforce the behavior using positive social cues or at times something tangible the child really wanted, like a cookie, which is the Consequence. Our work was predicated on finding the function of the behavior. All behavior is functional. We trained the behaviors we wanted, and did our best to replace the maladaptive behaviors with more desirable behaviors. Results could be seen in speech, physical movement, cognitive ability and social interactions.  I saw consistent change in all the students I worked with, and miraculous changes in some. Due to the individual nature of the education we provided, we were led to find exactly what would work with each student.

In my private massage practice and bodywork I see similar issues with the structure and function of the Human Body. All of our habits are functional, and adaptive to outside influences or internal health. Some of these habits are desirable, others aren’t.

Using the ABA lens to peer within the mechanical structure of the body, if we sprain an ankle (antecedent) and we attempt to walk on that ankle (behavior) we immediately recoil from pain (reinforcement). So we adapt our posture and gait due to conditions (A) and walk (B) we feel less pain (C).
Taking this point further is to see this gait as a pattern that's reinforced and made a part of our new walking habit. We reinforce this habit, sometimes for years. This is where I come in.

In a myotherapy session, gait and posture analysis is a way of seeing your body’s histories of reinforcement. Through this analysis, we can see how you have changed a smooth easy gait into one that is less desirable, less efficient and often leads to major problems that need surgical repair. Once we see what is moving well and what isn’t, we can use manual therapy to both interfere with the pattern as well as correct and balance the pattern with precision. Within each session we give body tissue specific pressure as an antecedent. The brain picks up on this pressure as a signal (the behavior) and eventually, the tissue changes (consequence), either by releasing or tightening (at times tissue needs to be “awoken”). If this placement and pressure doesn't change the tissue, we adapt until we find a sequence of placement and pressure that leads to desirable state of the tissue as positive reinforcement. Changes can be felt and seen as they happen. This can literally save you and insurance companies tens of thousands of dollars if done before it’s too far gone.

Generally, this balanced state of tissue leads to a healthier lifestyle with increased vitality and longevity. When the body is aligned, it has incredible abilities to self-heal. Western medicine has seen this happen, mostly in the sports and performing arts world where access to the finest Manual Medicine as well as technology has increased performance and longevity for years. Anyone watching the NBA playoffs can see this at work, where LeBron James has capitalized on all that's available for his tissues to recover and work harder than ever. On the other side of this, we also see in Western medicine an incredible use of Opioids that mask the pain, very little to no use of true Manual Medicine, and a gaping hole in finding the root source of pain, which at times may even have an emotional component to them. If you have the financial means, you can have access to the finest care one could buy.  Many M.D.’s have left typical insurance based medicine practices for concierge care which caters to a well-educated clientele that wants precise functional analysis of their issues with planned solutions. 

Creating new behaviors requires more than just one session. It is a commitment on both therapists and clients to determine what is needed, and for how long. We need to be willing to see if our work together is creating the positive changes or when to make changes. We recommend the use of a multidisciplinary approach that includes Manual Medicine, Therapeutic Yoga, Acupuncture, Alexander Technique and various massage and bodywork approaches for best results.

With our help, we can give the antecedent (our work) to elicit a desirable structural balance (behavior) and voilà, you feel a positive change (consequence).

Eli Peltz BS, LMBT
Board Certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork

9:38 am

Pelvic Health Class with Eli

Eli demonstrates techniques from his Manual Medicine class focusing on pelvic health. This continuing education course will be held on April 23rd and April 24th. Sunday, 10 am - 6 pm Monday 9 am - 5 pm If you're interested in attending or learning more about our educational offers, check out our Facebook page and official site. Call us at (828)-406-7060 232 Furman Rd, Boone, N.C.

11:40 am

Whiplash by Eli Peltz

At Alchemy, one of the most frequent cause of visits is neck pain. We handle all kinds of chronic neck pain, but the most challenging of them all is when it is caused by whiplash. Whiplash is a rapid acceleration extension injury where the head is forcefully and quickly snapped back and forth. It can start from a rear end or front end collision, typically in motor vehicle accidents. One can also get whiplash from a fall, a sports injury, blast from explosives or being hit in a fight (think rabbit punch, or back of the head blows.)

The issue with Whiplash is that it is typically seen as a neck injury. A good Manual therapist will wisely look at other areas as well, particularly the abdomen area. This is where the rapid acceleration begins. This is where it has quietly (in most cases) caused lesions (slight strains) of the organs in the area, which cause dysfunction all over the body. Treating just the neck and spine isn’t enough. One must treat all of the body to achieve the best results.

The best treatment starts 7-10 days post incident, which allows for the swelling or inflammation, if any, to recede. It is best to get an x-ray or MRI to see the damage, if any, that was done.

At Alchemy, we train our therapists to utilize thorough assessment and treatment strategies that historically, have yielded excellent results in returning people to their pre-injury condition. Everybody is different, but we tend to see positive results immediately, and over 10-15 sessions we are usually able to return people to their MMI (Maximum Medical Improvement.)

What makes this possible is our commitment to excellence and training. Our strategies include:

Gait (walking) and Posture (upright standing position) analysis. This helps us to see the relationship between different parts of your body. We look for compensations while you are walking as well as how you stand from 4-5 different angles. Most people who have whiplash are walking with their head and shoulders very stiff, due to the pain, and are standing with their head forward.
After this analysis we begin our sessions with tissue assessment and treatment. Having an eye for assessment can make all the difference between a massage and a Manual Medicine treatment. In a typical session we would assess and treat:

The 3 distinct layers to the neck, each of them are addressed individually.
The cranium, or skull, using soft tissue techniques designed to check the sutures of the skull. These techniques are being used in a study of former NFL players who have had a history of concussions. They are gentle and highly effective with generally no side effects.
The upper rib cage, where your front neck muscles connect. This is often a neglected area that is an area of trauma during a whiplash event.
The abdomen, where the organs are treated using gentle therapies as well.
Upper, mid and lower back. We test and look for muscles that are either overstretched, or over-contracted.
This is an area of distinction where relationships between areas matter. The neck area for example has front muscles that typically are shortened while the back of the neck muscles are too long. The relationship is addressed together, which immediately changes the posture of the individual.

There are other factors when planning a session, especially if the accident is recent. Was the person aware that the impact was coming? Was their head turned, even slightly, to look at the oncoming collision from the rear?

Not all accidents lead to whiplash, but the following list of symptoms (which you can also find on Web MD at http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/pain-management-whiplash) are helpful if you have been in an event that hurt your neck:

·         Neck pain and stiffness

·         Worsening of pain with neck movement

·         Loss of range of motion in the neck

·         Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull

·         Tenderness or pain in shoulder, upper back or arms

·         Tingling or numbness in the arms

·         Fatigue

·         Dizziness

Some people also experience:

·         Blurred vision

·         Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

·         Sleep disturbances

·         Irritability

·         Difficulty concentrating

·         Memory problems

·         Depression

If you have been in a car accident, it is possible to be covered for Medical Massage and manual therapy. At Alchemy we are set up to walk you through all the paperwork needed to get your treatments covered. It is vital that you get treated as soon as possible to get best results. See your Doctor or Chiropractor to get a referral for manual therapy. We will treat you holistically, focusing on not only your whiplash, but your nervous system as well. Typically people are on high alert following these type of events.

Even if it has been a long time since your injury, we can make progress with chronic pain, even in just a few sessions. While whiplash is one of the more difficult injuries to treat, we are proud to have been able to help so many people, even those who had surgery and were still in pain.

We also recommend combining treatments with Acupuncture and 1:1 Yoga Therapy, also available at Alchemy.

Eli Peltz, BS, LMBT.

A Board Certified massage therapist, Eli continues to learn and grow as a therapist. He is currently undergoing an extensive training in Visceral and Neural-Meningeal manipulation and has trained in Myofascial Release, Structural Integration and a host of other modalities, which he combines to form Manual Medicine. He has practiced massage since 2004 and currently runs a thriving private practice in Boone, NC.