Written by Crystal Ward Kent
For Karen Cerato, OT/L, RMT, RYT, founder, manager and owner of NH Health & Wellness Center in Nashua, New Hampshire, healthcare is about treating the whole person. Her journey towards this philosophy began in the 1990s, when she started her medical career by training to be an occupational therapist. Some years later she became intrigued by Reiki, and was certified in that discipline. She began seeing clients and teaching others, but it was not until she got involved in yoga that pursuing a more holistic approach to healthcare became the goal.
“Yoga really awakened me to the fact that our health has not just physical components, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual,” she explains. “Too often, we focus only on our physical selves, but how we are faring in other areas can greatly impact how we feel and how our bodies function. The more I learned about this philosophy, the more I realized that I wanted to pursue healthcare with this as the foundation.”
Cerato became so committed that in 2016 she opened the NH Health & Wellness Center, seeing it as a place where people could receive a variety of treatments in a centralized setting. The Center offers various alternative medicine modalities, including Reiki, acupuncture, massage therapy, nutritional coaching, Naturopathic medicine and more. Cerato added to those offerings by becoming certified in Lyme Magnetic Protocol, a therapy that is used to treat not only Lyme disease, but also other illnesses where chronic infection is the culprit. Since opening its doors, the Center has seen significant growth.
“I started the Center just three and a half years ago with just four providers and we now have 12,” she says. “I love my team—we are a very cohesive group who work together for the good of the patient. Patients may see just one of us, or several of us, depending on what is the best fit for their care. At the Center, our goal is to get at the root cause of the illness. We don’t just prescribe a pill; we look at everything that might be triggering the illness.
“We also believe that there can be successful partnerships between traditional medicine and integrated medicine. I think we have been successful because many patients feel that with today’s healthcare, they fall through the cracks. If they don’t fit into a certain box, they don’t get the answers they need. We work to get those answers, no matter how long it takes.”
Cerato finds the Center’s work very rewarding, as do the members of her team. “Seeing patients get their lives back—there is no greater reward. We recently had a teenage girl who had been completely disabled due to chronic Lyme Disease. She had no energy and was not getting better. After a round of treatments here, she was back running and working a part-time job. She was living like she was meant to live.”
Cerato admits that her field is not without challenges. “One of the biggest challenges we face is that there is a lot of confusing information out there. People have so many sources of information, especially with the Internet, that it can be overwhelming. They often don’t know what to believe. We help them sort through all of this data and hopefully, find the best treatment for them.”
Cerato is excited about the Center’s future, and their ability to help more people heal. “We want to be the ‘who’ that people are looking for,” she says. “We believe that it’s not so much about what the diagnosis is as it is about who is the right fit for providing treatment. With our team effort, we believe that we can be that right fit for those in need.”
The NH Health & Wellness Center also brings a strong female component to healthcare—though it was not by design. “Somehow, we wound up with 11 of our 12 providers being women,” laughs Cerato. “It’s turned out to be a good thing, though. I think there is a lot of sensitivity in our practice, and a lot of intuition. I do believe that women have a stronger sense of intuition, and that we are more comfortable tapping into that. We all have professional training and decades of experience, but when you combine that with intuition, I think it leads to exceptional healthcare.”