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Lakota Country Times: Business provides alternative medicine

The following article was written and reported by Vi Waln, Lakota Country Times Correspondent. For more news, subscribe to the Lakota Country Times today. All content © Lakota Country Times.

Laurie Russo is a Licensed Massage Therapist providing services to residents of the Rosebud Reservation. She is pictured here in her office/waiting area at the Nape Woapiye Holistic Center. Photo by Vi Waln

Nape Woapiye Holistic Center provides alternative medicine
By Vi Waln
Lakota Country Times Correspondent

MISSION, SD—The Nape Woapiye Holistic Center has provided affordable homeopathic healing alternatives to Western medicine for residents of the Rosebud Reservation for more than a decade.

Owned and operated by Laurie Russo, a licensed Massage Therapist, the Center has provided services to 1800 clients since 2005.

“I can’t believe how fast the last ten years have gone by,” stated Russo.

She began regularly serving clients out of a spare bedroom in her home before remodeling a double wide mobile home into the current Center.

Russo began working out of the current building in 2008. She serves over 80 clients each month. Recently, licensed therapist Racheal Herman joined her at the Center in order to keep up with an ever growing clientele. Services include massage therapy, cranial sacral therapy, yoga and energy work. The Center recently acquired three Tibetan singing bowls, which can be used in conjunction with body energy work.

"Therapeutic touch connects our body to our self,” says Russo. “This process is very important in understanding what the body needs to heal itself. Most people experiencing massage for the first time are astonished when they find areas on their body that are tight, sore and painful. There are many people who are hesitant in taking steps to receive healing because of experiences involving negative touch received at some point in their life."

The Nape Woapiye Holistic Center has two private treatment rooms for clients who are seeking alternative methods of healing. Photo by Vi Waln

The Nape Woapiye Holistic Center has two private treatment rooms to serve clients. The center also has a comfortable waiting area, office space and a small kitchen. A library is available for clients to check out books. A small retail area offers a variety of herbal supplements, teas and ointments available for purchase.

Western medicine is notorious for treating symptoms of the body with synthetic drugs. Man-made drugs are also prescribed to treat mental afflictions. In many cases, patients who are treated by licensed physicians wind up with a whole slew of medication to take. In some cases, the pills a patient is prescribed will bring on other ailments, which must also be treated with more synthetic medication.

“In order to truly experience healing, one must treat the entire system, not just one area,” stated Russo. “The mind, body and spirit are all entities and when one is out of balance, illness occurs.”

Many clients make massage therapy a regular part of their lives. People who experience a high level of stress at their jobs see massage therapy and yoga as a way to relieve the tension of everyday life. Russo also treats clients who have been referred to her by local medical providers. Some clients have been able to forgo narcotic prescriptions to better manage their chronic pain with massage therapy.

The Nape Woapiye Holistic Center is located one block north of Subway in Mission, SD. For more information or to make an appointment, please call (605) 856-4515.

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