UPDATE: We Are the 3,000 Percent

On Trend:
We Are The 3,000 Percent

In August, American Express released a new report that takes a look at trends in women-owned businesses, going back all the way to 1972, when the U.S. Census Bureau first started providing data on minority- and women-owned businesses. In their 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, Amex reveals that the number of businesses at least 51% owned, operated, and controlled by one or more females—increased nearly 3,000%; growing from 402,000 in 1972 to 12.3 million in 2018. That's a trend we can get behind.

Actually, we are behind it. Founded in 2007, Healing Foundations is owned and operated by Rebecca Gemperle and Lisa Alvarez, who just happen to be women. When Healing Foundations first opened, there were an average of 714 women-owned businesses opening per day. In 2017, that average ballooned to 1,821. That's per day. Julie Tomich, SVP, American Express Global Commercial Services says "This new data demonstrates not only the remarkable impact women entrepreneurs have on our economy when it comes to creating jobs and generating revenue, but also the growing role of women-owned businesses in our communities."
"When Lisa and I came together to build the clinic, we knew the type of physical atmosphere we wanted to practice acupuncture in, but we were also committed to creating and being a part of a community– among our patients and among health practitioners– but also within the neighborhood we chose to build our business," Rebecca says. "We explored locations all over the city." "A lot of locations in a lot of neighborhoods," adds Lisa.

Lisa says that Roscoe Village's reputation as "the village in the city" was appealing. "We liked that small neighborhood feeling, but when we established the clinic we were pioneers in a way. At that time, many people associated this part of Belmont Avenue with antiques stores and blue collar industries," adding that there were quite a few empty store fronts and dog kennels surrounding the clinic at first. "Now Belmont is transitioning into a mixed commercial and residential street. People unfamiliar with the area are often surprised to learn there's a thriving neighborhood here. Roscoe Village has became a family-oriented neighborhood, and it's been gratifying for us to be able to help and support our neighbors in their health and healing, and to have them refer their family members and friends to help us become a trusted business in the community."


"A soothing atmosphere and warm,
inviting staff make this place a gem..."

Yelp reviewer Ross W.

June 2018 | Gua Sha


Gua Sha:
Removing Tension by the Spoonful

It’s not a meditation chant or even the name of a hot new restaurant in the South Loop. Gua Sha is a 2,000 year-old practice for resolving muscle tension, spasms, and pain. Typically administered on the neck, shoulders, and back, Gua Sha is sometimes referred to as “scraping” and is often used in combination with acupuncture or other bodywork modalities.

Scraping, you say?! Gua means “to rub” or “press stroke,” and Sha describes the red or purple spots on or near the skin surface as a result, clinically known as petechiae (pe-tee-key-ah). It’s been described by some as a more intense version of cupping, but Gua Sha actually has more in common with massage.

“Gua Sha does increase surface blood flow like cupping, but pressure is applied while a blunt-edged tool is used to scrape the surface layers of skin– sort of a 'burnishing' action,” says Jennifer Gaspers, a Licensed Massage Therapist. “Gua sha is great as a stand alone treatment or as part of a bodywork session because it's effective for resolving over-tight muscles or breaking up scar tissue.” Jennifer adds that not as much pressure is applied as with a traditional massage, but because there’s friction on the surface of the skin, some people might be put off by the naturally occurring bruising. “The area we’re working on is first treated with a lubricating oil, but capillaries on the skin’s surface are effected. Redness and any surface bruising clears within two or three days.”

“It’s a safe pain-relieving modality that’s been a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) forever,” says Healing Foundations’ co-owner Rebecca Gemperle. “I’ll often use a medicated oil with menthol, peppermint oil, or camphor to prepare the area and lubricate the skin. It helps to loosen bound-up fascia (connective tissue) to allow the muscles to relax.” Rebecca explains that the treatment isn’t exclusive to clinics offering Chinese Medicine. “Physical therapists and chiropractors have something called the ‘Graston Technique’ that originated in the early 1990s. Plain and simple, it’s myofascial release based on the centuries-old gua sha that we perform here, but it sounds more modern and they rely on high-tech looking stainless steel tools.”


“You can buy a gua sha tool made of buffalo horn online from Walmart,” says Healing Foundations’ other co-owner Lisa Alvarez. “I’m not even kidding. It’s that mainstream.” Indeed, tools used for this type of treatment come in a wide variety of interesting sizes, shapes, and materials. Jade and quartz are common in TCM clinics, but you’ll find them in wood, stone, and metal, too.

“That’s true,” says Revital Peremen, a licensed acupuncturist and certified Asian Bodywork Therapist, “but all of us at Healing Foundations usually first reach for a ceramic Chinese soup spoon. “Using the spoon is traditional, but more than that, it just fits in the hand nicely and creates the desired results. It’s low-tech, but I stick with what works.”

Healing Foundations is no Walmart, and does have those ubiquitous soup spoons available for purchase, but Lisa is quick to add that gua sha is not for everybody. “It looks easy, but we take the time to carefully instruct anyone who wants to practice gua sha on themselves at home. Because you’re rubbing the skin vigorously, injury is possible. It’s imperative to sterilize your gua sha tools, and if you’re on blood thinners or have other issues with blood clotting or skin conditions, there are other effective modalities that are safe for you.” She also adds "Gua is not just for tight muscles. Many people do not realize that trained practitioners of TCM can use gua sha to help alleviate headache pain, stiffness in limbs, resolve nausea and to break up symptoms of a cold such as a cough, congestion, and fever."

Just like cupping, Gua Sha is available at Healing Foundations as a 15-minute, stand-alone treatment ($30), but is often incorporated into longer acupuncture and bodywork sessions. When you’re ready to try this ancient pain relieving treatment, we have a spoon waiting for you.

From the moment you walk in the door you feel the vibration of healing and tranquility.
— Anila D., Yelp Review


Holiday Closure
Healing Foundations will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th. Have a safe and peaceful holiday

Sunday July 8th | 6pm 
Second Sunday Sound Meditation with Venus Sabay  |  6-7pm
Allow your mind and body to recharge as we embrace the late summer energies. Experience the healing effects of vibrational tones with crystal bowls, singing bowls, and chimes. Meditation is done lying down, yoga mat provided. Feel free to bring a blanket and pillow. Stay for tea and share your experiences! $30: Pre-registration is required.


Saturday July 21st | 9:30am
Yoga + Meditation Workshop with Jennifer Gaspers | 9:30-11a | Partner Yoga
Jennifer's July workshop focuses on yoga for twosomes, so grab a partner (bring one, or make a new friend when you arrive) and let’s get creative! Learn how partnering up can help you to safely get a better stretch and gently keep you upright in those pesky balance poses. Jennifer will introduce and lead you through a routine that'll keep your yoga practice fun and fresh, then wind down with group meditation. $25: Pre-registration is required. Class is limited to 8 participants.


May 2018 | Getting On Your Nerves


Getting on Your Nerves
with Holistic Healthcare

Why does it work? It's a question we get constantly– whether referring to acupuncture or any one of the other holistic therapies at Healing Foundations. We do our best to explain– but sometimes really complicated matters are best understood when boiled down to the bare essentials. In simplest terms, it's nerves.

Within the body lies 11 primary systems, including the circulatory, endocrine, and muscular systems– and 12 major organs, some with more than one function. The brain is the command center: all the systems, organs, and parts they control rely on constant communication between networks inside the brain (neural networks and pathways) and throughout the body (the nervous system: central, and autonomic/peripheral).

Acupuncture works with energy pathways within the body called meridians, but stimulating those pathways with acupuncture needles has a direct effect on the body's nervous systems. An acupuncturist leverages this and the nervous systems' reactions to remind the brain there's a problem, and to please get busy fixing it– either by ramping up a solution, or backing off what's keeping things out of place (there are specific terms in Chinese Medicine for this, ask your practitioner!). What the brain really wants is for a body to be in perfect balance, with all the systems behaving and working in perfect harmony like they're in a Coca Cola commercial. That balance is called homeostasis, but with so much going on (internal and external forces), It's no wonder things can sometimes get a little out of whack!

The peripheral nervous system lies outside the brain and spinal cord and has two big players designed to encourage homeostasis: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The SNS creates stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which are great for getting to and nailing that business meeting on just a little sleep, or outrunning an alligator (but not good at all for a restful night's sleep). The PNS is boss at rest and recovery. When enacted, cortisol and adrenaline levels decrease, your heart rate drops and muscles relax.

Acupuncture and complementary therapies like bodywork or energy work help to elicit the parasympathetic nervous system's "rest and digest" response. These therapies offer a holistic counter-balance to physical and mental stress without harsh chemicals; encouraging naturally-balanced hormone levels, good gastro-intestinal health– enacting and strengthening the body's ability to heal and recover.

For seven years in Roscoe Village we've been working to heal and educate. In all that time, a gentle smile and a relaxed sense of wellbeing is the most common side-effect we see from all the therapies we offer. That being the case– we're happy to get on your nerves.

“Venus sound healing with crystal bowls as well as tibetan bowls and Jennifer with cranial/sacral massage, resulting in an AMAZING healing, restorative, calming experience.”
— Gretchen S., Yelp Review


Holiday Closure
Healing Foundations will be closed on Monday, May 28th, and there will be no Qi Gong class that Monday evening. 

Seasonal Allergy Help 
If springtime leaves you wheezy and sneezy and OTC medication isn't enough, a number of scientific studies indicate that those who receive acupuncture experienced a reduction in symptoms and used less medication to feel better. Call 773.880.9939 to make an appointment. For those who prefer natural medications to antihistamines, we stock D-Hist from Ortho-Molecular in adult and kids' formulas.


Multi-Modal Healing
On May 16th Healing Foundations hosted a very special healing event. While Venus Sabay relaxed and soothed attendees with healing vibrations of singing bowls, crystal bowls and chimes, Licensed Massage Therapist Jennifer Gaspers passed around the room offering CranioSacral Therapy. One attendee reported: "I have gained a sense of calmness and positive state of well-being. Jennifer and Venus are true healers of the mind, body, and soul." Stay tuned– we'll be offering more events like these in the future, and hope to see you there.


June 7 Wine Stroll
Join Healing Foundations for the fifth annual Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce Wine Stroll. Businesses all along Belmont Avenue and Roscoe Street open their doors for this popular event. Walk and wine from 6 to 9, but hurry– because tickets sell out every year!




March-ing On, In Sickness and In Health

"Beware the ides of March," says a soothsayer to Julius Cesar in Shakespeare's play. It's a warning of danger to come upon an unprepared Cesar, with the added bonus of a timeline. "Danger" came to March 2018 in the form of the influenza virus that hit two Healing Foundations team members square on– and sideswiped another. After the worst– and contagiousness– had passed (treated with an appropriate mixture of Western and Eastern medicine), the experience gave a couple of us more than just a nagging cough, it provided all of us with some perspective on the work we do.

As a team of healers– empathetic and learned, intuitive and educated– we can't always be there to forewarn you of trouble coming your way, but everything we do is designed to support you before, during and after if it does. Many of you come through our door for help keeping your minds and bodies strong and nimble, but when you're not at your best– when the balance has tipped out of your favor, we're here for you, too.

Leave it to our dedicated and experienced acupuncturists to know which of the more than 400 acupuncture points are just the ones to get you going again. Have confidence that our classes will always be supportive and judgement free. Know that every bodywork and energy work treatment is conducted with empathy and integrity in a clean and safe environment.

Healing Foundations is not a spa. We provide serious healing, but every treatment, every therapy, and every cup of tea and diffuser full of calming essential oils is designed to support you every day; in sickness and in health.

"This to me is true medicine administered by intelligent professionals...Everyone needs a Healing Foundation in their life."

Jill A., on Facebook


Many thanks to everyone who came out on March 24th to experience the 4th annual Belmont Bunny Hop! Kids and adults all had a great time– and many thanks to the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce for putting on a great event.

Coming Up in April: 

April 8: Sound Healing Meditation
Every second Sunday of the month from 6-7pm, experience the healing effects of sound meditation with Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, and chimes. Join sound practitioner Venus Sabay and relax while releasing stagnant energies, mental blocks, and emotional stress! Meditation is done lying down, yoga mats provided-feel free to bring a blanket and pillow. | $30: Pre-registration is required.

April 21: Yoga + Meditation
This month's workshop tackles the problem of learning something great in class, then forgetting it when you're on your own! Jennifer Gaspers will help you to build a sequence of poses that makes sense for you: from warm-up to moving into deeper stretches and the best poses for prior to savasana– while creating a personal notebook of poses to take with you and practice at home. | $25: Pre-registration is required.


Needles to Train the Brain: Lisa Talks Neuro-Acupuncture


Needles to Train the Brain:
Lisa talks Neuro-Acupuncture

"I had been working with people recovering from brain trauma or who have been coping with Central Nervous system disorders for years, but I knew there was more out there– more to understand, and more I could be doing," says Healing Foundations Co-Founder Lisa Alvarez.  After five days in Santa Fe, New Mexico last autumn, Lisa says she's now equipped with some new techniques; a twist on Traditional Chinese Medicine to help treat patients with Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and CNS problems.

Using the scalp to treat disorders can be traced back in ancients texts to around 100 BCE.  Neuro-acupuncture is a relatively new  and modern approach to traditional acupuncture.  It evolved in China in the 1950's around the time new technologies in brain imaging and mapping were being developed but this particular style is not widely practiced in the West.  Lisa says "The science is there.  Stimulating points on the scalp that correspond to areas of specific functions within the brain truly combines traditional Chinese treatment theory with Western medical knowledge."

“This training gave me another way to look at the body, and more tools to tackle complex challenges," says Lisa Alvarez.

"The scalp contains numerous venous and neural pathways with direct connections to the brain.  In addition to science supporting the connections between the brain inside the skull and the scalp on the outside, there’s been a lot of study in recent years leading us to believe that a brain that’s been compromised by any number of traumatic brain injuries can actually learn to use undamaged parts and create new neural pathways to make up for lost function.  It's known as brain plasticity."

One aspect of neuro-acupuncture is to help the brain establish new neural pathways to regain lost function.  Traditional acupuncture elicits brain response through a meridian system that links the whole body. "Needles placed in the arm, leg, or even the toes absolutely evoke a neurological response.  These needles placed into the scalp take a more direct approach by carefully identifying zones that directly stimulate areas of the brain responsible for the functions exhibiting deficiencies," Lisa explains.

Neuro-acupuncture is also different than traditional acupuncture in that patients with the same diagnosis will receive the same treatments using the same points and it’s a much more active experience.  Lisa says that patients sometimes feel like they’ve gotten a workout.  “Once I’ve placed the needles, I have the patient try to use the part of the body or the sensory function that has been compromised; it’s important to get immediate feedback and get the brain engaged in developing and strengthening new communications pathways.  If a function, movement, or range of motion is improved or at the very least if a patient notices something feels different– I know we’re on the right track. If not, we keep trying.  There’s a fair amount of manipulating the needles on my part, too. It’s a much more involved process than traditional acupuncture.”  With these treatments, it’s possible to see improvement right away, but it's important to know that treatments build upon each other.  “Like a course of medication, one dose or just one treatment can’t provide maximum effect,” Lisa cautions.

“This training gave me another way to look at the body, and more tools to tackle complex challenges.  One reason I love acupuncture is that I’m continually impressed, satisfied and even surprised by some of the remarkable results of treatment.  Miracles are hard to come by ” Lisa says, “but one thing this modality has made me realize is: there’s always hope.”

Questions about neuro-acupuncture and the conditions it might help?
Reach Lisa Alvarez directly by email: Lisa@HealingFound.com


Coming Up in March: 

March 11, 6-7pm | Sound Healing Meditation
Every second Sunday of the month, join Venus Sabay for the healing effects of sound meditation with Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, and chimes. $25. Pre-registration required.

March 17, 9:30-10:45am | Yoga + Meditation
This March, Jennifer Gaspers' monthly workshop focuses on pose modification. Yoga is for everyone, and Jennifer will help you to find and master the poses just right for you, and learn to know when you're prepared for the next progression. $25. Pre-registration required.


January 2018 UPDATE


New Year, New Online Booking

On January 1st, Healing Foundations rolled out a new online booking service. When you book your next session online, you'll notice a different interface, along with new options on selecting the treatment and practitioner you'd like to see. If you've found your service and practitioner– but not appointment time you really want– look for a new feature: the "Add yourself to the wait list" link at the bottom of the booking screen; we'll contact you should your desired appointment time become available!

Update Your Data for Your Best Care

After booking your treatment online, you'll be directed to a Thank You for Booking page. At the bottom you'll see a link in blue; "View my account." Do we have your correct and current information? We rely on the best phone number and email address to reach you, and having complete information helps us to serve your wellness better– including your current medications, plus updates or changes in health status. Please take time to provide this crucial information and be assured, your online records are confidential, secure, and HIPAA compliant.

Insurance Assurance

Did your health insurance begin or renew on January 1? Are you sure your coverage is the same (or different)? To verify your benefits for acupuncture coverage, please visit Healing Foundations' private link to Holistic Billing Services. Every insurance claim Healing Foundation makes or hopes to make, begins with this process. Once you've completed the secure online form you'll receive a confirmation email, and Healing Foundations will receive a notification of your applicable benefits. After receiving your benefit summary, we'll contact you to discuss the options and next steps. Couldn't be easier!
Quick-link buttons for both Online Booking and Insurance Verification can be found on the Healing Foundations website homepage.


Treatments for Performance

You may recall the excitement created over cupping during the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. Michael Phelps and other swimmers sported their telltale cupping marks poolside, creating quite a stir. We talked about it in a blog post at the time, and Rebecca was even interviewed by the Chicago Tribune for their story on the "viral" sensation.

A few weeks ago the U.S. Figure Skating Championships were held, determining who'll be representing our country at the XXIII Olympic Winter Games. The event's third place finisher in the women's competition (and 2017 national champion) was 18 year old Karen Chen, who'd spent the prior day sick in bed. Every published story about the January 6th event mentions Chen's visit to her acupuncturist to ready her for the once-in-a-lifetime competition, and many stories covering Chen in the run-up to the championship include her reliance on a combination of acupuncture and Western medicine to keep her in competitive form.

The Winter Games begin February 9, and we'll be keeping an eye out for all media mentions of acupuncture and other therapies that we know elite athletes rely on, and hope you will too...but remember: the practitioners at Healing Foundations are here to help you regain and maintain your optimal physical and emotional health, whether you're training for a singular moment in time– or your best life over the long haul. Go Team USA, and Go You!


Special Events COMING UP in February: 

February 4, 6-7pm | Sound Healing Meditation
Join Venus Sabay for the healing effects of sound meditation with Tibetan singing bowls, crystal bowls, and chimes. $25. Pre-registration required.

February 20, 9:30-10:45am | Yoga+Meditation 
Jennifer Gaspers' monthly workshop event takes participants back-to-basics with helpful breakdowns of primary yoga poses and how they relate to a strong physical and meditative foundation. $20. Pre-registration required.


Help On A Shelf: Liniments & More at HF


Winter: for some, it might conjure up images of snowflakes on eyelashes and other cozy song-worthy things, but in reality, winter can be downright cruel. Short, dark days, slippery walkways– not to mention the viruses that thrive in the season but wreak havoc on our heads and bodies, too... the perfect time to talk about a few of the products Healing Foundations keeps on hand to warm and soothe achy joints and muscles; products we use in our practice daily, and available to you for at-home care. 

CBD Analgesics

Can you say Cannabidiol? Even if you struggle with pronunciation (can-a-bi-dye-ahl), chances are good that you've seen or heard of CBD (abbreviated, and easier to say). Seemingly everywhere these days, CBD is a non-psychoactive extract of industrial hemp (there's no "high" associated with this extract). CBD has been the subject of dozens of governmental studies and clinical trials for treating everything from PTSD to Parkinsons Disease– and can now be found in low, non-prescription doses in hundreds of over-the-counter products. 

When applied as a topical analgesic, CBD interacts with receptors and transmitters in the peripheral nervous system to reduce pain and inflammation. CBD extract doesn't enter the bloodstream in order to provide pain relief, and can't be detected through conventional blood or urine tests for hemp-related products.

After research and careful consideration of this new market in pain relief, Healing Foundations has chosen two CBD products to offer our customers, and so far– to rave reviews!

CBD at Healing Foundations

Outch! Ointment | We particularly like Outch! because it was developed by Brian Bowen, a fellow Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist from Denver, Colorado. In addition to CBD, Outch! contains soothing Traditional Chinese Herbs, and doesn't contain petroleum, formaldehyde, parabens, or sulfates. Great for every day muscle aches, arthritis, sports injuries and stiffness, Outch! is available in unscented salve, and a roll-on with the added tingle of menthol and camphor.

CBD Clinic ProSport | Available only through healthcare professionals, ProSport utilizes quality emollients as a base (organic beeswax, jojoba seed oil, cottonseed oil, and shea butter)– and combines a unique blend of eucalyptus, tea tree, clove, peppermint with menthol and camphor to deliver quality hemp extract for fast-acting, deep-penetrating pain relief. 

Liniments, Ointments & Oils


If you've received Cupping, Gua Sha, or bodywork at Healing Foundations, chances are that you've also received the healing benefits of one or more herbal liniments. We use these topical remedies to soothe skin irritations and sore muscles during and after treatments, and they're available to you to use at home, too! Here are a few of our favorites and most popular:

T-Relief | T-Relief has a number of topical and oral formulas for treatment of bruises, aches and pains. One of T-Relief's primary active ingredients is Arnica, which is often prescribed by surgeons pre-operatively, taken internally to rev up the body's natural healing mechanisms.

White Flower Oil | Developed in 1927 and known the world over, White Flower Oil's primary ingredients are wintergreen, eucalyptus, peppermint, and menthol: great for body aches and pains, plus neck aches and headaches. A dab of White Flower oil under your nose will help to help open stuffy airways for a better night's sleep.

Zheng Gu Shui | Popular with athletes, this liniment is made by the traditional and lengthy process of soaking herbs in alcohol until all the good stuff leaches out to be collected and refined. ZGS can be applied before exercise to increase blood flow and relax muscles and tendons, or for recovery of strains, bruises and sprains.

Po Sum On Medicated Oil | Produced by the same, singular Hong Kong company since 1907, this liniment provides a pleasing double-whammy effect: it goes on cool (thanks to menthol) then turns on its warming power with peppermint to increase healing blood flow. Extract from the Daemonorops draco promotes blood circulation and tissue regeneration while relieving pain. This little bottle in the fancy tin packaging packs quite a healing punch!

Ching Wan Hung | This herbal balm with the funny name is an absolute go-to for any type of skin irritation. Available in a tube or tub, Ching Wan Hung soothes and cuts the healing time for scrapes, burns, rashes, and itchy skin.

Blue Poppy Massage Oils and Liniments | Known for their high quality and available only through licensed practitioners, Healing Foundations carries a number of Blue Poppy liniments and tinctures. These herbal formulas serve specific goals based on Traditional Chinese Medicine; consult with one of our practitioners for the product that's right for the at-home care of your specific condition.

November Update


Looking For Answers, Healthcare And Law Enforcement Turn To Acupuncture

As proponents and purveyors of holistic and drug free therapies, we've shared many posts on our Facebook page about the wealth of data supporting acupuncture as an effective treatment for pain– and for treatment of addiction. Unfortunately, in the United States, where eighty percent of the world's pharmaceutical opioid supply is consumed, the business of treating pain has led to some unfortunate consequences. "Opioid," usually paired with "Crisis" or "Addiction" is now commonplace in the headlines, but some recent news stories are revealing just how complex the challenges we face are– and how acupuncture may play a part in overcoming them. 

Follow this link to read the entire blog post.


Gentle Yoga has moved to Thursday!  •  Beginning November 2nd, join Jennifer Gaspers every Thursday evening from 6:15-7:15pm for Gentle Yoga ($15). Whether experienced or just starting out, Jennifer's class will put your week– your mind, and your body– into perspective with healthful balance.

Jennifer's November Yoga + Meditation Workshop occurs on Saturday the 18th, from 9:30–11:00am. The theme: Seeing Your Truth. Monthly workshops are $25, and you can rsvp by following this link.


Singing Bowls join Qi Gong  •  Venus Sabay recently completed intensive study in healing sound therapy, and is bringing the meditative quality of singing bowls to Monday night Qi Gong (every week at 6pm, $18). If you haven't tried Qi Gong yet, Venus likens it to "moving meditation," with gentle movements and coordinated breath that cultivates your Qi, or life force energy. Venus invites attendees of all experience and fitness levels to "become a force with nature, and no longer feel out of sync!" Note: There will be no class on Monday, November 28. For more information, email Venus@HealingFound.com

Add your 'like' to our Facebook page for upcoming details: Venus will soon be offering Private Sound Therapy and Group Healing Meditations with Tibetan Singing Bowls at Healing Foundations.

Looking for Answers, Healthcare and Law enforcement turn to Acupuncture

As proponents and purveyors of holistic and drug free therapies, we've shared many posts on our Facebook page about the wealth of data supporting acupuncture as an effective treatment for pain– and for treatment of addiction. Unfortunately, in the United States, where eighty percent of the world's pharmaceutical opioid supply is consumed, the business of treating pain has led to some unfortunate consequences. "Opioid," usually paired with "Crisis" or "Addiction" is now commonplace in the headlines, but some recent news stories are revealing just how complex the challenges we face are– and how acupuncture may play a part in overcoming them.

The Illinois Department of Health and Human Services reports that in 2016 there were 1,826 opioid-related fatalities in our state alone. The effects of the opioid epidemic are most obvious in the numbers of overdoses and deaths, but a recent report by  CBS News and the Washington Post reveals that when it comes to our country's issues with opioids, there may be a shared responsibility with manufacturers of legal opioids, and even lawmakers as well.


Across the country, law enforcement is charged with stemming the illegal use of drugs while facing tough questions about what to do with those addicted; balancing law with empathy in the face of hopelessness. 


"We cannot arrest our way out of the problem, even though we’ve been trying," an Undersheriff in Northeast Florida is quoted as saying. With limited resources to tackle big problems locally, state governments are looking for more and broader solutions to assist in their efforts. 

In September, the National Association of Attorneys General sent a letter signed by 35 state attorneys general to America's Health Insurance Plans, a political advocacy group that represents 1300 companies that sell insurance to 200 million Americans. The letter encouraged the organization to "take proactive steps to encourage [its] members to review their payment an coverage policies...to encourage healthcare providers to prioritize non-opioid pain management options over opioid prescriptions for the treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain." The group went on to name a number of "effective non-opioid alternatives" that includes massage and acupuncture.


This groundbreaking and unprecedented plea from states' leading law enforcement officers got little play in the national media, but it marks an important step in the legitimization of acupuncture and other proven holistic therapies.


This is the first time that a group of leading law enforcement officers has come together and publicly recognized the legitimacy of non-pharmaceutical treatments, and gone a big step further in asking insurance companies to provide coverage for acupuncture and other treatments not included in many insurance plans. This falls in line with news from last May; the Food and Drug Administration made recommendations that primary care physicians be knowledgable about complementary therapies, and be willing and able to discuss them with their patients.

Slowly, and out of necessity, acupuncture is becoming more mainstream and less alternative. In response to the decimation caused by the highly addictive nature of opioids and the proliferation of prescriptions for them, American doctors and hospitals are being forced to look outside their one hundred year-old traditions for responsible solutions that not only provide an alternative, but often serve patients better. Eventually, insurers will be forced to answer the call of law enforcement and healthcare professionals; to provide coverage for treatments that will help patients recover with less pain, without harm, and without addiction. It's just a shame that it took a national crisis to bring about that change.

Accessibility has and remains to be a major barrier between patients and effective, holistic therapies like acupuncture. If it isn't covered by insurance, it isn't a viable option for many people. Indeed, more insurance plans are including acupuncture coverage, albeit for limited applications. Healing Foundations began accepting insurance in 2016, and in just the past year more patients are finding their plans provide some coverage for some acupuncture treatments. If you're unsure if your health insurance plan covers acupuncture, visit HealingFound.com and look for the "verify your insurance" button, or click on this secure link to provide your insurance information to verify your benefits.


June Update

If you're a regular at Healing Foundations, chances are good you've crossed paths with an obviously-expectant mom, or maybe even a baby or two in the Healing Foundations lobby. Since opening six years ago, the clinic has provided pre- and post-natal care to many dozens of moms and their little ones.

In this month's blog post, Rebecca talks about how acupuncture can help before, during and after pregnancy: Click here to read more.

Traveling this summer, and taking along your bestie? Healing Foundations carries a selection of essential oil sprays from Earth Heart, formulated just for your canine companion. Safe for puppies 10 weeks and up (and calming for people, too!), Travel Calm soothes restlessness, drooling, panting, whimpering and stomach upset during travel. Look for the blue, BPA-free, recyclable bottles on our display shelf; $15 each.

• Mondays July 3, 10, 17 and 31 at 6pm, 'Bring a Friend for Free' to Qi Gong classes at Healing Foundations. Purchase a class for $18, and one lucky friend can join you to experience the 75-minute class for themselves! There will be no class on July 24. Questions? Email Venus@HealingFound.com

• July 4th falls on Tuesday this year: Healing Foundations will be closed that day, but open all weekend prior.

• Roscoe Village Burger Fest will be taking place right in front of Healing Foundations on Belmont Avenue from 11am-10pm, July 8th–9th. If you're planning to visit the clinic that weekend, please allow extra time to find parking and make your way through the crowd.

• Jennifer Gaspers' monthly Yoga+Meditation event takes place on Saturday July 15th, 9:30-10:45am. This month's theme: 'Finding Your Passion.' For more info or to sign up, email Jennifer@HealingFound.com

• Our favorite summertime treat is the fantastic selection of free music performances downtown at Millennium Park: The Millennium Park Summer Music Series (Monday/Thursday), and the Grant Park Music Festival (Wed/Fri/Sat). Whether you're looking for classical or world beats, nothing beats Chicago in the summer! We'll see you there!

Acupuncture and Pregnancy: Getting to the Point with Rebecca

Rebecca Gemperle, Healing Foundations Co-Founder    It should come as no surprise that Rebecca received regular acupuncture and complementary therapy treatments throughout her two pregnancies.

Rebecca Gemperle, Healing Foundations Co-Founder

It should come as no surprise that Rebecca received regular acupuncture and complementary therapy treatments throughout her two pregnancies.

If you're a regular at Healing Foundations, chances are good you've crossed paths with an obviously-expectant mom, or maybe even a baby or two in the Healing Foundations lobby. Since opening six years ago, the clinic has provided pre- and post-natal care to many dozens of moms and their little ones.

Clinic co-founder Rebecca Gemperle says that treating fertility and pregnancy directly correlates to the holistic nature of acupuncture. "Simply put, our treatments support a woman's body so it can produce an optimal environment for conceiving and carrying a baby. We work on managing stress and general wellness, but also specific issues they may be experiencing before they become pregnant— like regulating monthly cycles."

Historically, about half of Healing Foundations' prenatal patients have had or are receiving fertility support like IVF (in-vitro fertilization) or IUI (intrauterine insemination). "We work closely with the patient to minimize the sometimes considerable side-effects of hormones and medications required in those processes, and to prepare and support her body for egg retrieval or embryo transfer. Certain things happen at particular times in the process, and each acupuncture treatment reflects each step and what comes next." Rebecca adds that "Once a patient becomes, treatments focus on supporting the mother to allow her body to best provide for the growing embryo."

"Babies are adorable. They're fun.
But also, it makes women check in and take care of themselves.
It's part of why I like doing fertility work."

"Western medicine does have technological advantages that we don't," Rebecca points out. "Important things that affect a woman's ability to conceive can be discovered with blood and hormonal testing for example, or the means to diagnose PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)— those diagnostics that are beyond the scope of our practice. Most doctors are encouraging when it comes to their patients seeking acupuncture because what we do supports their efforts. The difference between ART (Assisted Reproductive Therapy) working or not can depend upon the baseline of their patient. That's where we come in— helping to improve the odds of conception holistically, without additional drugs or side effects. And of course, when an OBGYN or reproductive endocrinologist (fertility doctor) does diagnose a problem, we devise treatments to assist with those issues as they arise."

As the mother of two young girls, Rebecca understands her patients well. "The drive to have a baby is very strong," she says quite dryly. "When you want a baby, you want a baby. Babies are adorable. They're fun. But also, it makes women check in and take care of themselves. It's part of why I like doing fertility work. Addressing what your stressors and lifestyle are, and how it affects your chances of growing your family become a big factor. Our approach includes the obvious basics like managing stress levels, promoting proper sleep and diet while treating the symptoms and effects of pregnancy."

Regular acupuncture treatments can help with a number of conditions some expectant mothers suffer: morning sickness, back and joint pain, fatigue, mood swings, heartburn, constipation, plus preeclampsia (pregnancy-induced high blood pressure) and gestational diabetes.

"Acupuncture is sought out most commonly to treat morning sickness, but for the best results over the course of a pregnancy, we can create the most benefit by starting before someone hopes to actually conceive," reports Rebecca. "If you're thinking of trying, that's the time to begin acupuncture treatments. It takes about three months of 'prep work' to create an optimal environment for conception — quality follicles,  appropriate hormone levels, a good endometrial layer— all these things take time to get ready." She's quick to add that acupuncture for reproductive health isn't just an issue for women. "Research shows that acupuncture is really helpful for men, when it comes to the health and viability of sperm. Plan ahead," she advises.

"All of us at Healing Foundations have worked with hopeful parents excited about growing their families. We see the whole process, and encourage continuing care after the big arrival. We also see plenty of little ones for pediatric acu-therapy and herbal remedies, and even offer infant massage instruction to help keep everyone healthy and happy," says Rebecca, with a smile. "And of course, that's wonderfully satisfying."


Link: Influence of acupuncture on the pregnancy rate in patients who undergo assisted reproduction therapy
Link: Study Shows Alternative Treatment May Help Male Infertility Problems
Link: Correction of Breech Presentation: A Randomized Controlled Trial


May 2017 Update


Oh, yes, with ever changing sports,
We whiled the hours away;
The skies were bright,
Our hearts were light,
In the merry, merry month of May

From "The Merry, Merry Month of May", a song by Stephen Collins Foster, 1862

In this month's blog post we take a look at an important advancement in the way Acupuncture and other integrative therapies are viewed by Western Medicine.

A spate of recent articles are highlighting how the mainstream is finally recognizing that integration serves patients better. From forward-thinking hospitals, right up to the Food and Drug Administration, the long slow road to acceptance is finally getting a toehold. Click here to read more.

There's just no two ways about it, these are trying times. In the past year we've seen a real influx of folks seeking relief from the effects of stress and anxiety. We're here for you 7 days per week— even if it's to just unplug for an hour with stress-relieving Acupuncture, Shiatsu, Chelation or Reiki. No time, you say? Ear seeds can also help ease stress for just $30 per visit, and you can be in and out in about 20 minutes.

If it's shopping therapy you seek, the sidewalks on both Belmont and Roscoe will be festooned with great bargains from 10am-6pm on June 3rd during the Roscoe Village annual Sidewalk Sale. Healing Foundations is a proud member of the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, who organizes the the Sidewalk Sale and is the force behind the neighborhood's perennial favorite food blowout– Burger Fest (July 8-9: mark your calendars!).


The long road to awareness: FDA seeks to formalize the inevitable

On May 10th, the US Food and Drug Administration released a proposal for what primary healthcare providers should know and share with their patients about integrative medicine as it pertains to pain management (1).

It's a addendum actually, to recommendations the agency put together in 2011 in response to the United States' escalating problem with overuse and abuse of prescribed pharmaceuticals. The problem isn't only that prescriptions get abused, but also that for some people, opioid painkillers are so addictive they sometimes serve as a gateway to abuse of non-prescribed drugs, too. In Ohio last year, a record 3,050 residents died from fatal drug overdoses. Most of those deaths were from heroine or legal painkillers like Fentanyl (2). Fentanyl is the legal and very powerful prescription drug that killed the singer Prince.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services states quite dryly, that: 

"Opioid abuse is a serious public health issue.
Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States."

The FDA believes that if physicians are educated about non-pharmacologic alternatives to pain management— and share that information with their patients— a broader, more inclusive, and potentially healthier approach might replace the singular stranglehold drugs have on patients' consciousness— before addiction takes place. The fact is, acupuncture and chiropractic care, which the FDA also added to its recommendation, are drug-free therapies that provide pain relief for many people, but are historically left out of the conversation in physician's offices. For the most part, patients have been left to explore and discover non-pharmaceutical therapies on their own, which only reinforces the idea of a separation of traditional and integrative care.

“[Health care providers] should be knowledgeable about the range of available therapies, when they may be helpful, and when they should be used as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management,” says the FDA in its proposal.

This development is welcome news to providers of integrative therapies that have been traditionally marginalized by Western medicine, but these recommendations haven't been adopted as official protocol as yet. The FDA is accepting public comment on its proposal through July 10th. It is a small thing just to be included in the health care conversation, but a really important step in the right direction for providing thoughtful and appropriate health care for everyone.

The best news is that this move by the FDA isn't really all that ground breaking. There's been a spate of recent articles highlighting how Western medicine serves patients better when integrating therapies once thought of as being alternative. From Shakopee Hospital and Owatonna Hospital in Minnesota, to world-renknown Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, hospitals around the country are seeing how acupuncture can assist and improve patient care before, during and after traditional treatments.

“They think what we do is hocus pocus, and we don’t do hocus pocus.”

– Dr. Marcia Prenguber, University of Bridgeport; Massachusetts 

A terrific article from Connecticut Magazine explains the inevitable rise of integrative medicine, for problems ranging from substance abuse to better care for cancer patients. “The health care market needs it, the patients want choices,” says Dr. David M. Brady, Vice President for Health Sciences at the University of Bridgeport. “They don’t want just drugs and surgery, they want more comprehensive solutions to their chronic health challenges.” 



1) LINK: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/NewsEvents/UCM557071.pdf
2) LINK: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ohio-coroner-runs-out-of-room-for-bodies-spike-in-opioid-deaths/

RELATED: Drug makers push back on limiting access to their products: https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/18/drugmakers-fought-state-opioid-limits-amid-crisis/?s_campaign=trendmd

April 2017 Update


Spring greetings! This month we're taking time out from our spring cleaning to partake in some music, meditation, and high tech options for healing:


Lisa Alvarez recently took a few minutes between patients to talk about those fancy-looking pens she sometimes points at people. It turns out that all the acupuncturists at Healing Foundations are pairing high technology with the ancient art of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Read what Lisa had to say about laser therapy here.

April brought two opportunities for mindfulness and meditation that'll continue right into May:
Now through May 20th, Venus is offering $10 off Chelation sessions; a hands-on energy work therapy that promotes physical and mental well-being. Call 773-880-9939 or schedule your session online.
If you missed Jennifer's Mindfulness and Meditation workshop in April, you can still sign up for the 75-minute class on May 20th. For more information, email Jennifer@HealingFound.com, or go directly to the signup page on Dabble to register.

April has had its days. Really, if April Fools Day or Tax Day weren't your thing, then there are other more joyful selections to choose from this month: International Louis Louis Day was on the 11th, and Earth Day on the 22nd gave us pause to contemplate the future of our planet. But April isn't over yet, and there's still time to plan on a free concert at the spectacular Chicago Cultural Center to celebrate International Jazz Day on April 30th!

What's up with those lasers, Lisa?

Lasers have been around since the early 1960s, but found their way into Healing Foundations just a couple of years ago. You may have seen or experienced laser therapy from any one of the three Healing Foundations acupuncturists, but it's Lisa Alvarez, the clinic's co-founder, that has embraced them the most.

"Acupuncture lasers are a gentle form of light therapy that we can apply directly onto the site of an acupoint, injury or inflammation, but we usually use them in conjunction with, or sometimes instead of needles," Lisa says. "Most often, we apply lasers to the same locations as we would acupuncture needles...the end of someone's toe, for example. That can be a very sensitive area, and some people can't handle that much stimulus as inserting a needle there could be painful. I might opt to use a laser on that point to increase the effectiveness of the needles I've placed elsewhere on the body without overloading the patient."

"Because these types of lasers are a very gentle, they're great to use on patients who are in a weakened state, and obviously, lasers are great to use with young children who might be too fidgety to place needles, or yes— for anyone who has a fear of acupuncture needles altogether."

Endre Mester at the Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary is credited as the father of laser therapy. In the mid-1960s he was interested in seeing the effects of lasers on tumor cells implanted in mice. It ends up that the laser didn't get rid of the tumor cells, but it did accelerate the healing of the mice after surgery. Their incisions healed faster than the mice who weren't treated with lasers, and they re-grew their hair faster, too.

Lisa Alvarez, Healing Foundations Co-Founder

Lisa Alvarez, Healing Foundations Co-Founder

The lasers Lisa uses look a lot like pens, or the ordinary laser pointers you can buy at an office supply store.

The lasers Lisa uses look a lot like pens, or the ordinary laser pointers you can buy at an office supply store.

Lisa says she's interested in technology and how it can work within the framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine. "Lasers have proven to be really important in all sorts of Western therapies. People might be familiar with the lasers surgeons use for cutting or cauterizing incisions— they  are very powerful lasers. We use cold lasers that work at a much lower intensity,  similar to those that  chiropractors have been using for years.  Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) has been shown to be  effective in reducing inflammation and encouraging healing in soft tissue."

"The laser pens we use let us focus on specific points to stimulate a reaction, in a similar way that needles do. We use two lasers; a red one for tonification, or strengthening— and a blue one for sedation, or reducing— but both increase metabolic activity on a cellular level. Just like with acupuncture needles: where and how we apply the laser supports the desired outcome, based on the Chinese Medical diagnosis."

Make no mistake, these lasers are not for play. "No!" Lisa says emphatically and laughing, when asked if the lasers she uses are the same as you can buy at an office supply store for making presentations or playing with your cat. "Yes, medical lasers do make light, but the emit at a very specific frequency proven to stimulate cells, not cats' curiosity."

If you're curious about laser acutherapy, just ask Lisa. Her laser pens are standing by.

March 2017 Update:

As the proverb goes: In like a lion, out like a lamb. March starts off fully entrenched in winter, then switches gears and ushers in spring. March is a go-between, and that's a little bit like our work at Healing Foundations. As healers and agents of good health, we are comfortable with transition. We encourage and create it. Patients arrive at Healing Foundations in various degrees of discord: of the body or of the spirit– or both. When they leave us, they're transformed. Many times they're greatly better and sometimes, because change isn't always easy, just one step closer.


"Subtle change can sometimes be the most meaningful," says Clint Smith. "Energy work isn't about moving mountains. It's much more understated than that." A Reiki practitioner at Healing Foundations since 2015, Clint admits that explaining what Reiki is can be the hardest part of what he does. "Reiki isn't like other kinds of therapeutic treatment," he says. "Especially for first-timers, the experience can be nebulous and hard to describe. It's why I'm so enthused and incredibly thankful when my clients are willing to share their own Reiki experience in their own words." 

Read more about Clint and his Reiki practice on the Healing Foundations blog and check out these videos of Clint's clients who respond to their very first Reiki treatment. If you're interested in trying Reiki for the first time and sharing your thoughts on video, Clint wants to hear from you! Contact him at Clint@HealingFound.com

Join us on Saturday April 1st for the 3rd Annual Belmont Bunny Hop & Easter Egg Hunt! Take a stroll on Belmont Avenue with the family for pictures with the Easter Bunny, crafts, and great prizes for the parents! Festivities begin at 10am, with 13 stops along Belmont Avenue hosting a bevy of activities. Stop by Healing Foundations for "Bunny Yoga": a yoga primer for even the littlest hoppers. Get more information here.


Schedule alert: no Qi Gong class on April 10, but please join us from 6-7:15pm each of the other Mondays this month! If you missed last month's post on our new Qi Gong classes and instructor Venus Sabay, you can see it here.

Clint Smith and his Clients share their First Reiki Experiences


Clint Smith is a Level 3 Reiki practitioner who's been working with clients at Healing Foundations since 2015. "My first Reiki experience was as an add-on to other treatments I was receiving— acupuncture and massage therapy," Clint says. "I really had no idea what it was or how it worked. I had no preconceived ideas, which served me well."

"It was around 2011, or 2012. I'd had a couple Reiki treatments over the course of a few weeks and I was absolutely impressed upon by the experience— bowled over really, but I wouldn't say I was hooked." Clint explains that like a lot of people, getting his head around the Reiki experience took some time. "I have spent decades in the marketing and graphic design industry. I'm what you might consider a type-A pragmatist. I connect with facts and procedures. I had a tough time getting my head around my own personal experience, let alone begin to process the larger picture of how an energy worker could harness unseen energy."

Clint Smith, Reiki Master

Clint Smith, Reiki Master


"Reiki is a nebulous, hard-to-describe thing,"
Clint says. "I'm so enthused and incredibly thankful when my clients are willing to share their own Reiki experience in their own words."


"To be honest, it was Lisa [Alvarez] and the others at Healing Foundations that encouraged me to take my first Reiki class. It was about three years after receiving Reiki for the first time, and in the beginning I was very hesitant and a bit resistant to the idea. Now— here I am." Clint says that sometimes even he has a hard time believing he's so engaged in what was once so foreign. "I can see now that becoming a Reiki practitioner was a culmination of a lot of things— things from my past that were inconsequential at the time, that now have context. Becoming a Reiki practitioner feels like it was part of the plan all along, but still, I shake my head sometimes when reconciling my realities as a 'business person' and someone who works in 'alternative therapies.' They say that you don't find Reiki, Reiki finds you. My Reiki practice has been unexpected and unexpectedly rewarding."

Clint says that he fully relates to how people react when he talks about Reiki. "Reiki is a nebulous, hard-to-describe thing. Despite scientific proof of the physiological response to Reiki and the quantum physics that help explain unseen energy, there's nothing concrete about a Reiki treatment. Every single session and and every person's response to it is different. People are vaguely intrigued at first, but just as I once was skeptical too, people unfamiliar with energy work tend to tune out quickly. That's why why I'm so enthused and incredibly thankful when my clients are willing to share their own Reiki experience in their own words. It's an experience that begs to be shared, and can't be summed up in a single sound bite."


Reiki is a gentle, natural technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes emotional wellbeing and physical healing. If you're interested in trying Reiki for the first time and sharing your thoughts on video, please contact Clint Smith at Clint@HealingFound.com

Click here for a previously published primer on Reiki.


February 2017 Update:

Fresh Starts and New Beginnings

The official start of Spring is still weeks away, but Healing Foundations has claimed February as a time of starting anew! We've got a new presence online, and a new face in the clinic, and a new class, too!

We unveiled a new website this month—if you haven't seen it, please head over to HealingFound.com now! Yes, that's right– to match our new, streamlined website with easier-to-navigate pages and mobile-friendly layout, we've shortened our web address to HealingFound.com. Your old bookmark will still work, but the shorter name speaks volumes about the work we do, and makes getting there quicker, too.

We'd like to introduce you to Venus Sabay, who joined our team this month and brings two new disciplines to the Healing Foundations lineup! Join Venus every Monday from 6-7:15pm at Healing Foundations for Qi Gong. Classes are $18 each, and though class size is limited, you can sign up on Venus's Meetup page, here. Venus is also a Chelation practitioner; a type of Energy Work intended to charge, clear and balance the human energy field. Questions? Email Venus: Venus@HealingFound.com

February is National Bird-Feeding Month, as proclaimed and entered into the Congressional Record in 1994 by a one-time U.S. Representative from right here in Illinois. We've had a mild winter, but until real warm weather arrives (and the bugs birds survive off of), our feathered friends could use a hand! For ideas and tips from a friendly flock of birders, check out the National Bird-Feeding Society on Facebook.

Qi Gong Classes @ Healing Foundations

Beginning February 20th, 2017—
Join Venus Sabay at Healing Foundations every Monday, 6-7:15pm

It's all about energy! 
There are days when you feel on top of it, and days when you feel stuck. As sentient beings, we unknowingly pick up a lot of unwanted energies from the environment and people, and wonder why we feel or think the way we do. Once you understand that your body is made up of energy systems, it becomes easier to clear out the clutter and intentionally draw in fresh energy. 
Utilizing the art of Qi Gong (Chee-gung) you will learn a series of 15 simple yet powerful movements that will build your life force energy (Qi) from the inside out. Qi Gong is the cultivation of energy; a self healing practice to maintain health and increase vitality. Class will end with a seated meditation.

Venus believes that we are all born with the innate knowledge and ability to heal ourselves through the power of breath.  It is the gateway to one's true potential, and overall emotional/mental, physical and spiritual well being.  Since 2006 she has cultivated the skill of breathing, and in 2012 became a Certified Medical Qi Gong Instructor under the study of Sifu Gail Galivan at Inner Alchemy Energy Medicine.  In acknowledging the effectiveness of self-discovery and truth, her objective is to guide each person to their own unique path via healing and balance in the mind-body relationship realm. Turning off the outside world while emphasizing intuition, creativity, and imagination, she utilizes the power of intention with coordinated breath and gentle moving meditations.  Her classes allow each individual to experience the inner working of their universe with significance and ease, creating a more harmonious life.

Venus has had the privilege of working with students of all levels, including the older adult population at Rush Medical Center's membership program Rush Generations, and at Mathers-More Than a Cafe, to incorporate recreational and wellness programs for the senior community. 

Venus Sabay,  Qi Gong Instructor  Venus@HealingFound.com

Venus Sabay, Qi Gong Instructor

Qi Gong classes are limited to 12 participants, and sign-up is required. Call 773-880-9939 to register, or

sign-up online at

What is Qi Gong?

Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese art and science form. It is gentle energy exercises through breath, postures, simple movements and meditation; similar to Tai Chi— but not martial arts based.  One’s life energy is strengthened, cleansed, and circulated throughout the body and stored. 

Qi Gong is a combination of physical postures, breathing techniques, and focused intentions. Every exercise can be done while sitting or standing, and is simple enough for people of all ages with, or without, experience of Qi Gong.  Modifications are made for those who have a specific range of motion, or a medical history, so as to work within their ability.

Qi (Chee): energy, life force that flows through all things in the Universe. Gong: work, or skill acquired through time and practice

Qi Gong improves: circulation, concentration, memory, metabolism, digestion, coordination, balance, wellbeing, awareness. Increases: health, vitality, intuition, creativity. Creates: optimistic and joyous disposition, clear and tranquil mind, relaxation response to stress.

January 2017 Update:

Hello 2017!

New Year's greetings to everyone! Nearly four weeks after the Gregorian calendar declared the new year, the Chinese lunar calendar rung in 2017 on Saturday, January 28th.  It's officially the Year of the Rooster, and we've got plenty to crow and talk about.

On January 18th, local CBS Channel 2 news broadcast a short ‘HealthWatch’ segment on ear seeds, with our own Lisa Alvarez—filmed right here at Healing Foundations. If you missed the broadcast, you can see the video here.

If yoga is on your radar for 2017, join us for class every Wednesday evening from 6-7pm, with Jennifer Gaspers—our resident yogi. For a more personalized approach, contact Jennifer for information on 1-on-1 yoga or semi-private instruction: 

New year's celebrations are a big deal in China—lasting anywhere from 7 to 23 days. If you’re feeling like you’ve got some celebrating left in you, you have our blessing! Click here for some fun Chinese New Year facts.