By: Allegra Tiver
The quest for health and wellness takes people in various directions. The journey to becoming the best versions of ourselves – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually – may seem challenging or even feel confusing at times.
That’s why it’s a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively, walking through the plant-infused entryway of Live Well Holistic Health Center in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, where Dr. Martin Orimenko shows people that integrated health is indeed within reach.
We all know that some combination of diet and exercise would support our well-being, but finding a regimen that fits us as individuals isn’t always so straightforward. If and when we do, there might be some underlying sense of malaise, where we recognize our reactions to environmental stress or our emotions might be a little askew.
Thankfully, the Delaware Valley has an educated and dedicated chiropractor, nutritionist and naturopath as a nearby guide.
“Through Applied Kinesiology, I can determine what the body needs”, explained the mild-mannered Orimenko. The highly skilled and intuitive licensed doctor of chiropractic and naturopath – who began meditating at the age of 17 and carries himself with a calm that is contagious – has treated more than 5,500 patients during his 20+ years in practice.
“People know instinctively that natural medicine works, that for thousands of years in every culture around the world, people have remedies from nature,” Orimenko said. “People are very tired of drugs and surgeries as their main options for health care.”
Live Well is a place where people of all ages can find help for all conditions. Some come seeking relief from Crohn’s, Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, others with skin and weight issues. Some are looking for advice on dealing with allergies or headaches, others are suffering with chronic physical pain or the emotional pain of anxiety and depression. Patients often come in for the treatment of something specific, Orimenko noted, then recognize the symptoms are a manifestation of something else and gain a deeper awareness of themselves.
Treatments fall into three main categories: Musculo-skeletal; Nutrition & Diet; Mind & Spirit. Inside those, Orimenko’s therapeutic modalities might include: Chiropractic and massage techniques (he also has four massage therapists on staff) as well as guidance on exercise; Cleanses and dietary supplements to achieve balance in the body; Lessons in mindfulness as well as strategies to alleviate emotional issues.
How does he do it all? From early in life, Orimenko recalls always being eclectic. Growing up, he wasn’t satisfied with one musical instrument, so he learned a half dozen. The multi-instrumentalist is now actually a Kirtan artist who created an album and performs out in the community. He performs on his own as well as with David Newman and most recently with artist Yvette Om at the ‘Yoga On The Steps’ event at the Philadelphia Art Museum to benefit the non-profit organization Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
Orimenko’s career path in holistic health has been equally exploratory, yet always focused. He left his hometown of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, to delve into the study of natural medicine all over the world. He set up his first successful practice in St. Louis, Missouri, where he attended chiropractic school. Later, the adventurer headed further west to Sausalito, California, where he opened another practice, lived on a houseboat and met his future wife (and business and marketing guru for Live Well) Traci. Since she is ironically from Cherry Hill, New Jersey, the couple decided to move back east to be near their families – and since started their own. They established Live Well Holistic Health Center on Lancaster Avenue nearly four years ago.
Orimenko’s desire to master the vastness of natural medicine has taken him to China, India and South America. Several certificates that hang on his wall, displaying his education and expertise, are only a sampling of his credentials. There’s an entire binder full of them … from Ayurvedic Medicine, to Acupuncture & Acupressure, to Herbology, to Reiki & Breathwork.
“There was no way I could just be a chiropractor and specialize, because that is only one part of our health,” explained Orimenko, with great clarity. “What about nutrition? What about stress-management?”
In addition to Orimenko’s kind demeanor and innate ability to counsel people as they work toward wellness, the ability to pull from these diverse disciplines sets him apart and makes him sought after as an healer and guide. People drive from as far as two hours away, and from out-of-state, for his unique and individualized treatments.
“Someone might be a vegetarian, or eating raw foods or following a Paleo diet, and I help them within their lifestyle,” said Orimenko, noting he doesn’t have any “hard and fast way” that works for everyone. Instead he customizes his treatments for patients based on their specific needs. Traci at the front desk reports that she sees patients get amazing and quick results because of Orimenko’s individualized approach.
Some of the more common reasons patients come to Orimenko are around digestion – from food sensitivities to their body struggling with processing foods.
“The digestive tract can make or break your energy, your moods, your mental clarity and your immune strength,” Orimenko said. “If anyone is eating the typical American diet, they are probably too acidic, experiencing mucous and having inflammation or becoming insulin resistant.”
To reverse these, Orimenko will go to his pharmacy – a cubby-style storage station, organized perfectly, with each square holding the homeopathic or natural keys to health – for something to reset the gastrointestinal tract (i.e. Candida and colon cleanses).
The small bottles containing herbs, minerals and supplements are a world apart from the suggestions people receive daily through the barrage of TV and magazine ads – the new options alluring for some, mysterious for others. While certain mental barriers keep people from making the shift from traditional to holistic, Orimenko is observing a pattern.
“People don’t often make the jump until they finally get fed up. They have always trusted their medical doctor, who wears a white coat. But when they are given a prescription for side effects from another medicine, they begin to rethink things.”
Ideally, for the health of the world-at-large, Orimenko would like to see people seeking hands on physical therapies for their bodies (not relying only on physical exercise) and seeking out natural alternatives.
One demographic is, and always has been, on board with the concept of holistic health – and that is people who do yoga. With so many intrinsic crossovers, it’s no wonder Live Well has many yoga practitioners as patients and that Orimenko is so involved in the Philadelphia community.
Orimenko actually teaches the Injury Prevention and Awareness modules in the Yoga Teacher Trainings for Yoga on Main, offering his expertise in physical anatomy to the students.
“Yoga, meditation, breathing are natural ways to support our mind and body,” Orimenko said. “So are hands on therapy and natural medicine. They keep everything in balance, which then helps us thrive.”
Allegra Tiver is a freelance writer based out of Swedesboro, NJ, with a focus on yoga, hiking and being in nature, travel and sharing stories of the human experience. Also an RYT-200, Allegra has been teaching Vinyasa yoga for more than two years and practicing yoga for more than a decade.