Beauty & Wellness
Izlind: A New Wellness Center Opens In The Heart Of Rhinebeck
Photo by Dion Ogust.
By Andrea Pyros
In many ways, it’s easier to describe the Izlind Integrative Wellness Center & Institute of Rhinebeck by stating what it’s not. It’s not a spa—there are no mani/pedis given here. It’s not a health clinic with sterile hallways or the lingering smell of antiseptic; instead the space is tranquil, with soothing colors and full of local art. It’s not a gym, though there are fitness and bodywork classes offered daily. Instead, Izlind is a interwoven web of disparate private, individualized services; group classes; and workshops all focused on a central, singular goal: merging traditional and holistic forms of healing and wellness under one roof in order to promote health and reduce stress for the mind, body and spirit.
That’s not quite a 10-second elevator pitch, but how simply can you explain a healthcare environment that’s so different than anyplace else?
“We’re unique, one-of-a-kind,” says Beth Gershuny, Ph.D. [left], the founder and President of Izlind. Gershuny is a licensed clinical psychologist who spent many years in academia, and it was during her early years at Harvard where she first began looking at different ways of approaching illness. Gershuny was involved in studies showing the positive benefits that mindfulness meditation had on the structures of functioning of the brain, and she “started to wonder if there was another way of approaching illness, both physical and psychological. A gentler way,” she explains. “Why was there nowhere someone could go to have access to all these modalities under one roof? I saw it as a real gap in care, and since it didn’t exist, I started to dream of creating it myself.”
It wasn’t until years later that the Poughkeepsie native and current Rhinebeck resident gave up a tenured academic position to launch Izlind, which celebrated its grand opening on April 16. Currently, clients can find 19 providers, including clinical psychologists, licensed acupuncturists, life coaches, Reiki masters, sex therapists, yoga instructors, Thai body work masters, neuropsychologists and others, all of whom “believe deeply in integrative care and collaboration,” says Gershuny. “None of the providers believes that they can do everything.”
One of those is Anne Ballantine, a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist. Ballantine left her solo Rhinebeck-based practice in order to join Gershuny’s dream team. “Beth was talking about her vision for this practice; how she wanted it to feel and how she wanted people to be treated and I thought that was a great way to start a group practice. I was ready to work with other people, too. It’s nice to connect with a community and have people to refer to and bounce ideas off of. That was a big part of my decision.”
Gershuny understands that though many people yearn for a more integrated, holistic approach to their health, they’re often unsure of how to proceed. So she welcomes questions and offers introductory consultations. “Someone may call and say, ‘I’ve just had heart surgery and I have high blood pressure, what are the services that might help and might lower my stress so that physically I can function better?’ For one person, that may be therapy and massage, others Reiki and acupuncture, still another may need nutritional counseling and Chinese herbal therapy. It’s about figuring out what suits the person best, uniquely tailoring to the individual based on personal preference.” Izlind is equally welcoming to one-time and occasional visitors, too. “People may just pop in for a quick acupuncture session, we can do that as well.”
Steven Michael Pague teaching a Lunchtime Qigong class. Photo courtesy of Izlind.
The classes—and the pricing structures—are varied. There’s a Lunchtime Qigong series (drop-in $20, 8-week package $120); Tai Chi (drop-in $25, once-a-week 8-week package $160, twice-a-week 8-week package $290); a children’s Karma Kids series (drop-in $15, 8-week package $96); a range of workshops like Enhancing the Mother-Daughter Connection (advance $65, at door $80) and a Sexual Vitality & Cancer: Men’s Group and separate Women’s Group series (drop-in $45, 6-week package $240). Fees for private work such as mentoring, massage and neuropsychology can be discussed directly with Izlind. New services at Izlind are still being announced almost daily. Other providers — including the possibility of one or more doctors — will be joining in the near future.
Gershuny, who’s clearly delighted by the whirlwind of excitement and positivity of the past few weeks, finishes her talk with RI by speaking about her conscious choice to open Izlind in the village of Rhinebeck. “The feedback has been so enthusiastic and so strong. It’s been so deeply touching to me to hear ‘What a gift this is to the Rhinebeck community,’ and how pioneering this is for the region and how people feel they are taken care of the moment the walk in the door. People who like to spend time in the Hudson Valley are seeking a certain type of quality of life and I’d consider us part of the fabric.”
Izlind Integrative Wellness Center & Institute of Rhinebeck
6369 Mill St. (Route 9), Rhinebeck, NY