Myriad Modalities: Hudson Valley Health Practitioners on Healthy Living | General Wellness | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

The Hudson Valley has always been a a place of healing, and the region is teeming with health and wellness opportunities these days. There's also a heightened awareness surrounding the benefits to living well, especially in the warmer months of the year. But what does it mean to be healthy and can wellness look different depending on who you ask? Six local practitioners share how different modalities can help reach goals and why caring for overall health can improve general well-being to have a positive life experience. Learn top recommendations for being healthy from these experts that are easy to start now.


Jerad King DC, Chiropractic Physician, Upstate Chiropractic Care

With years of education and over 11 years of experience in various forms of chiropractic care—personal injury, wellness offices, pain-based offices—Upstate Chiropractic Care owner Jared King, has developed a practice that combines what he considers the most successful modalities and approaches to help people find balance and achieve their healing goals. King believes that chiropractic care is important for overall health because the nervous system governs everything that goes on in the body and chiropractors are primarily nervous system doctors. "The spine and the nervous system are the foundation for the function of the entire body. The more mobile and balanced the spine, the more optimized the nervous system becomes. The body is then able to operate at a higher potential. Vital to anyone interested in overall health!" The most prominent result of chiropractic care experienced is pain relief, according to King, but many people also report better sleep, overall vitality, and it's fundamental structurally for balance in the human body.

A common misconception, King points out, is that once you go to a chiropractor, you'll have to continue on a regular basis. "I try to resolve all the complaints you come in with and once the issues are resolved, I leave it up to the patient to decide what their continuing care will look like," says King. "I think there's great benefit to maintained and consistent care but I leave that up to the individual to decide." 

"I work on everything from all the 'itises' [tendonitis, plantar fasciitis] and anything happening in the extremities to the spine and acute disc injuries. I make each session as individualized as possible," says King. "I start by listening to the patient and we go from there. My practice isn't a one-size-fits-all experience." King works with all ages and those experiencing acute pain to clients who are looking to maintain balance and stay well. 

Top recommendation for being healthy:

Be mindful of what you are consuming and putting into your body. Move 30 minutes a day, keep your mindset as positive as possible and maintain healthy social connections.


Adam Reid, Licensed Massage Therapist, Masterpiece Massage

After a career serenading people as a piano player and composer, Adam Reid found himself wanting more connection with the people enjoying his music. "While I would be playing these gigs and pouring my heart out, after I packed up I would turn around and everyone was gone," says Reid who owns and operates The Masterpiece Massage in New Paltz. "I couldn't connect with anyone and I was looking for more in many ways. I realized the same energy I was putting into the piano, I could put into massage, but now instead of wondering what people are thinking, I can feel the energy and adapt while I'm going. I'm now trying to make a masterpiece with my clients," says Reid. 

Reid believes that massage therapy is an essential conductor of overall health, harmonizing body and soul. "I specialize in working with those who may have experienced trauma in their lives and are ready for a change and are ready to work on dissolving stress and anxiety," says Reid. "I also work with those who have never had a massage to those who have traveled the world and have experienced massage."

Distinctive to Reid's practice is the use of binaural sound therapy—sound frequencies (waves) hidden in calming music used to promote relaxing, deep meditation during treatments. "I think outside of the box in a different way than just pushing on the muscles. Like playing the piano, it's more of an art."

He believes that, beyond the physical benefits to massage (blood circulation, fortification of the immune system, and improvements in posture and flexibility) massage nurtures emotional well-being, fostering inner peace. Each session leaves a lasting melody of well-being—a timeless ode to the beauty of being alive. "My massages work on the psyche and physical body. I try to bring both together during my massages so that by the end of the treatment, clients can start to heal from within." Importantly, Reid's massages don't have a time limit, although each appointment is allotted four hours. Clients can expect the use of aromatherapies, hot and cold stones, heat compresses, facial serum, and binaural sound therapy. Reid encourages those booking an appointment to come with an open mind.

"Massage gives people a time to think without thinking. It allows one to have emotions in a safe space. Massage can also help people feel more comfortable in their body," says Reid

Top Recommendation for Being Healthy:

No matter what you're doing in your life, take time for yourself. Take time to make yourself happy. 


Alexis Arvidson, Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Alexis Arvidson believes that the root of healing and wellness is based on forming strong relationships to ourselves, each other and the surrounding environments. Based out of the AiAiA studio collective in Kingston, Arvidson, the founder, helps people find and build connections through her acupuncture, herbal, and community relationship wellness practice, focusing on women and families both in and out of the studio. Over the 15 years that Arvidson has practiced traditional Chinese medicine, her focus has evolved through the different stages of her life. "Acupuncture is an art that's informed by training, teachings, and experiences in each practitioner's life," says Arvidson. "For me a lot of yoga and Buddhism went into my practice in the beginning and now a very land-based exploration of relationships between people and the landscape and environment is informing my work." Most recently, Arvidson has been focused on caring for families. "We can really change the course of our entire unfolding if children are well cared for and that means families have to be supported and loved and well-care for."

According to Arvidson, acupuncture is hard to put into words and is really best experienced. "What happens in the room and in the moment is between the medicine, the practitioner, and the patient," says Arvidson. "Acupuncture awakens parts of people that may seem invisible to the eye. Once you start to have first-hand experience with acupuncture and herbs it will open so many channels of energy and pathways you aren't aware of that can feed into healthy relationships."

Arvidson uses intuition, esoteric acupuncture, release points and classical Chinese medicine techniques during her hour-and-a-half sessions.

Top Recommendation for Being Healthy:

Exercise and having a beautiful diet might be obvious, but for overall health the only way we can care enough to eat healthy and exercise is to be in relationships—relationships with oneself, with the people around us, and in a relationship with our environment.


Lindita Dushaj, LE, LMT Spa Lindita

Lindita Dushaj is the owner and one of the practitioners of Spa Lindita, a studio boutique spa based in Kingston. After a successful career as a banker but feeling "soul-sucked," the Great Recession caused Dushaj to rethink her career path. "I had started seeing an esthetician myself and eventually decided to pursue the training and education needed to be where I am now," says Dushaj. She has been a holistic esthetician for over 13 years and a licensed massage therapist since 2016 and considers herself a relationship manager with the skin and client. "My practice is all about holism. I am interested in the external as well as the internal. Skincare is vital for overall wellness as it plays a crucial role in maintaining the health and appearance of our largest organ, the skin. This is the first indication of overall health and protecting and caring for your skin is vital to living a healthy life," says Dushaj. "The skin is a reflection of what you are eating, drinking, stress levels, and everything going on in your life." 

The skin acts as a protective barrier against external elements, such as pollutants and harmful UV radiation, while also regulating body temperature and preventing dehydration, according to Dushaj. Skincare rituals can promote relaxation and self-care, contributing to mental well-being. Prioritizing skincare provides an opportunity to enhance physical health and foster self-confidence and overall wellness.

During her facial treatments—Spa Lindita uses organic skin products—Dushaj highlights that her treatments are tailored to the individual and they are more than just a facial. "I went to school for massage therapy as well, and I work that training and my work with fascia into each treatment," she says. "My treatments are customized for the season, age, pregnancy, and based on client goals."

Top Recommendation for Being Healthy:

You are what you eat. Drink more water than you think you need. Wear SPF. Using toner is underrated—it's one of the more important steps in a daily skincare routine. 


Kristina Sarhadi, MSW, CHHC, CRM, Kingston Reiki and Holistic Therapy

Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, holistic therapist and Reiki master Kristina Sarhadi is the founder of Kingston Reiki and Holistic Therapy. Sarhadi has built a career helping people learn about and foster emotional health and intelligence, first as a licensed social worker, having experiences working in various social service settings with all ages and backgrounds, and eventually to a more holistic practice using Reiki, mindfulness techniques, and nutrition. "My practice working very directly and personally with people is the common denominator. It's a combination therapy, mental health counseling and energy work—all of the modalities I've been trained in."

Sarhadi's background working closely with people in a therapeutic setting for over fifteen years has allowed her to develop many tools she can present in a package. "Many times, people book an appointment who are looking to change something in their life. My practice might be unique because I can hold space clinically, emotionally, and spiritually for my clients."

Sarhadi believes that people must gain awareness of and be willing to look at emotional health or emotional intelligence as a whole, to heal and promote overall wellness. "Many times, we treat symptoms and look at the surface of what might be going on, but I don't know that we are given the opportunity a lot of times to go deep with people in a safe space." 

Reiki is a wellness modality originating in Japan, in which a trained practitioner interacts with a person's energy field, according to Sarhadi. "Through a series of initiations in a meditative state, the body is allowed to do what it wants to do, and that is how healing happens," says Sarhadi. "As a trained practitioner, I am interacting with a person's energy field and I am able to feel blockages where energy is not flowing freely." Sarhadi's practice also incorporates sound healing as a part of each session.

Those seeking Reiki and holistic therapy do one-time appointments, but more often Sarhadi sees weekly or more recurring clients. "I never want people to leave their session feeling down. The goal is to leave feeling lighter and better than you came. There are some heavy times, but sessions can be casual and we have a lot of fun!"

Top Recommendation for Being Healthy:

My homework for everyone is to drink water! But rest is not valued enough. Sleep, rest, and recovery are just as important as having an active life.


Ryan Naccarato, Hudson Valley Ambition

In 2020, when the world and gyms shut down, Ryan Naccarato saw an opportunity to get people moving outside in a group setting. With a background in teaching and coaching, and a lifelong commitment to fitness, Hudson Valley Ambition was born. "The primary reason for starting this business was, of course, to improve physical health, but also our mental health through socialization," says Naccarato. Three years later this 100-percent outdoor and group fitness boot camp model is still going strong. 

The 45-minute outdoor group boot camp is the primary offering, with morning and evening sessions, and Naccarato also offers a host of virtual options. Hudson Valley Ambition sets up shop in the Kingston's Rondout District and uses Naccarato's mobile gym filled with kettlebells, resistance bands, car tires, sand bags, and more. 

Naccarato believes that people are capable of much more that the credit given and encourages anyone who is looking for a different type of gym, looking to meet others, be a part of a team, improve health and wellness, and have fun to come check it out. He believes that getting outside and being in fresh air with others is important for our mental health, and he's seen incredible personal transformations. "We all know that moving our bodies every day is so important and even though we are now older I still believe that being a part of a team has great overall health benefits. I hope people walk away with a life-changing experience."

Those who become members and attend the boot camps can expect high intensity interval workouts and to be pushed, but also to be a part of a culturally diverse community. "There is really a family-like atmosphere. Outside of the boot camp, we go on hikes, meet up for a meal, and genuinely have a great time," says Naccarato. 

Top Recommendation for Being Healthy:

Consistency and discipline. No one is motivated every day of their life, but with these two skills you can count on your habits to carry you further and take back your health.

Abigail Gierke

Abby enjoys being outside, meeting new people, and exploring the layers of their lived lives. Finding a story where it's not obvious is of particular interest. Listen here or reach out to tell yours.
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