Take Time! Great words of wisdom to start the New Year!

I spent some time today cleaning out a cupboard that had been left untouched in my condo after my mother in law passed away several years ago. I found this amazing old cookbook of hers from her birth town of Oswego, New York. The cookbook has a date of 1890 and while it has some pretty cool recipes it also held this little treasure that I would like to share with you as we begin a new year. The title is:

Take time for 10 things:

  • Take time to Work- it is the price of success
  • Take time to Think- it is the source of power
  • Take time to Play- it is the secret of youthTake Time
  • Take time to Read-it is the foundation of knowledge
  • Take time to Worship-it is the highway of reverence and washes the dust of earth from our eyes
  • Take time to Help and Enjoy Friends-it is the source of happiness
  • Take time to Love- it is the one sacrament of life
  • Take time to Dream-it hitches the soul to the stars
  • Take time Laugh-it is the singing that helps with life’s loads
  • Take time to Plan-it is the secret of being able to have time to take time for the first nine things

 Blessings for a wonderful 2016!



Program of the Month: HCG Weight Loss

Make 2014 the last year you will have “lose weight” on your list of resolutions. Change your life with your HCG Program.
  • Reset your body to lose only fat and inches
  • Rapid, safe weight loss
  • No exercise needed
  • Scientifically backed and time tested
  • No dangerous pharmaceuticals or surgery
The program includes a thorough initial and follow up visit, bioimpedance analysis before and after, weekly supply of HCG syringes, and is physician supervised.

Call today for a free 15 minute consultation with your doctor to learn more and see if the program is right for you.

Conversations with Barb – A 2014 Lecture Series

“Conversations with Barb”


A 2014 Lecture Series at HCA on the third Tuesday of each month

$5.00 in advance or $10.00 at the door

Includes Handouts, Giveaways, Raffle, Fun and Interactive


January: Tuesday, 21st

Conversations January

Keep your Immune System Healthy Naturally

This conversation will discuss short and long term immune support to help you through the long winter. It will include essential immune system protocols.

February: Tuesday, 18th

Healthy heart check list

Complementary Therapies for Heart Health and Heart Disease

This conversation will share some holistic approaches for the person who wants to embrace heart health and prevent the early onset of heart disease.

March: Tuesday, 18th

Conversations March

Are Allergies Affecting your Life?

Are allergies affecting your health? How NAET can eliminate your allergies! An introduction to NAET, how it works.

April: Tuesday, 15th

Conversations April

Grow your own Tower Garden

We think you will find it a healthier, easier, and smarter way to grow your own vegetables and fruits – right outside your own backdoor. Hydroponic, vertical gardening for inside or out! No weeding, No tilling, No kneeling. No dirt!

May: Tuesday, 20th

Face of a beautiful young woman with a puzzle collage.
Face of a beautiful young woman with a puzzle collage.

Healthy Skin – Where Beauty Meets Health

This conversation will explore how our exterior reveals secrets to our inner health as well as how to reverse skin aging with organic skin care.

June: Tuesday, 17th

Conversations June

Acupuncture – What Everyone Needs to Know About America’s Fast Growing Health Care Method

What is acupuncture? What conditions are treatable by Acupuncture? What does it do?

July: Tuesday, 15th

Conversations July

Benefits of Massage

This conversation will explore the history of massage, benefits of massage, what conditions are helped, and types of massage. Receive a 10 minute chair massage!

August: Tuesday, 19th

Conversations August 2

Bio-Identical Hormones – BHRT

What is Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy? What are the benefits? Can Men and Women use BRHT? Do I go to a doctor?

September: Tuesday, 16th

Conversations September

Four Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life

We will explore 4 changes you can incorporate into your eating that create a healing environment in the body. You will receive a prescription you can fill at your local supermarket and much more!

October: Tuesday, 21st

Conversations October

Rethinking Cancer

What is cancer? Where does it come from? Prevalence data, prevention, and holistic options.

November: Tuesday, 18th

Conversations November

Aromatherapy using Essential Oils for Body, Mind and Spirit

An interactive, fun conversation. Essential oils actions, safety considerations, blending oils and the essential oil first aid kit. How they work and how to use them in your life. receive an essential oil hand massage!

December: Tuesday, 16th

Conversations December

Stress Reduction – Why pay attention?

Techniques for coping with stress. Daily practice of the 30/30/30 principle.

 About the Owner:

Barbara Meconis, R.N., B.S., graduated magna cum laude from Mercy Central School of Nursing in 1972 as a Registered Nurse, and went on to receive her B.S. in health care administration from Davenport University in 1995. She has extensive health care experience in clinical and administrative roles, for both non-profit and for-profit organizations. Barb has received certifications in intravenous infusion, case management, and nutrition. She entered into the world of holistic medicine in 1998 becoming certified in healing touch, quantum touch healing, auricular acupuncture (NADA), and Nambudripads Allergy Elimination Therapy (NAET). She is an advanced level II NAET practitioner.

After working for many years in hospitals and clinics, in 2003 Barb opened Holistic Care Approach LLC in Grand Rapids, Michigan . Holistic Care Approach LLC. She is focused on the treatment of allergies through the use of NAET which she believes is the medicine of the future, being used in the present. The results are mind boggling and rewarding beyond her wildest expectations, to the extent that NAET is able to help people become healthy again.

Over the course of her career, Barb’s emphasis has been on program development and implementation. She enjoys coaching people through the complexities and challenges of the eastern and western health care systems, with a goal of integrating these two approaches through the many services offered at her clinic. Barb remains devoted to patient-centered care. Her focus is on women’s and children’s health. To that end she participates in many local organizations such as Girls on the Run, Healthy Homes, Asthma Network and several of the local colleges and universities as a mentor and speaker. Barb was a finalist for the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce Woman Owned Business of the Year in 2011, a finalist for the Grand Rapids Business Journal Woman Owned Business of the Year Award in 2012, and the recipient of the Davenport University Alumni of the Year award from the College of Health in 2013.

15th Year Anniversary of Holistic Care Approach

As 2013 unfolds I awake everyday with humility and gratitude to my staff, clients, friends, and our community and business partners for the exciting journey of building and expanding holistic medicine in West Michigan.

The last 15 years have been filled with change, adaptability, creativity and dedication to the idea that the client is the most important member of the medical team. We believe “healthy” means more than just the absense of disease. Each human being is a fusion of mind, body, and spirit- one dependent upon the other for optimal quality of life. We strive to create a culture of care for our clients.

The expansion of services and staff, along with client loyalty to our mission has helped us to continuously strive to exceed expectations and grow. This continuous improvement has driven us to expand from 8 to 14 treatment rooms, 11 to 30 providers, and 10-30 service lines. The addition of Dr. Kate Heineman D.O. in a dual role as a full time physician and Medical Director, as well as the HCA Skin Care Center and IV Infusion Center positions us to offer a much wider depth of services.

So it is with excitement and continued commitment to excellence that we look forward to 2013!!




A Holistic Approach to Neck and Arm Pain:

by Katherine Heineman, DO at Holistic Care Approach

What is the significance of neck and arm pain?

Neck pain is common, disabling, and costly. Around 2/3 of population will have neck pain at some point, with prevalence highest in middle age.

What is one of the most common reasons for neck and arm pain?

Cervical strain/sprain is one of the most common reasons for neck and arm pain. Often, other pathology may need to be ruled out, including fractures, disc herniation, infection, or tumors, but cervical strain/sprain remains the second most frequent musculoskeletal cause of consultation in primary care.

What is cervical strain or cervical sprain?

Cervical strain and sprain are muscular in origin. Cervical strain is produced by an overload injury to the muscle-tendon unit because of excessive forces on the cervical spine. Cervical sprain is thought to be caused by the elongation or tearing of small muscles or ligaments.

What are common causes of cervical strain or sprain?

Day-to-day activities or trauma can often lead to cervical strain or sprain such as whiplash injuries from motor vehicle accidents (minor or major), day-to-day repetition or over-use injuries, falls, or postural neck problems, to name a few.

What are common clinical syndromes or diagnoses associated with cervical strain or sprain?

If you are experiencing neck and/or arm pain, apart from a diagnosis of cervical spine sprain or strain, you may also have been diagnosed with one or more of the following:cervical myofascial pain, cervical soft tissue pain syndrome, cervical acceleration/deceleration injury, extension/flexion injury, whiplash syndrome, hyperflexion/hyperextension injury, and/or neck or shoulder girdle soft tissue injury.

What are the most common symptoms associated with cervical strain or cervical sprain?

Neck pain


Shoulder, scapular, and/or arm pain

Visual disturbances



Neurologic symptoms (weakness or heaviness in the arms, numbness, and paresthesia)

Difficulty sleeping due to pain

Disturbed concentration and memory

No specific pathology on imaging or diagnostic studies

What are common treatments for cervical sprain/strain?

Common treatments include: pain medication, NSAIDS, muscle relaxants, trigger point injections, or physical therapy.

What if my doctor has prescribed a variety of the above options and I am still experiencing neck pain?

Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) of the cervical spine for neck pain is the second most common use of manipulative therapy. Various gentle techniques are applied in areas of impaired or altered function of the body framework (usually in this case, this includes your neck, shoulders, and upper back) to release the sprain and strain on the muscle tissues and to promote blood flow, thus enhancing the body’s own healing ability. With my use of OMT, I never apply force or use thrusting techniques.

What is my outcome with neck and arm pain?

Your outcome depends on the underlying cause and whether your pain is an acute or chronic problem. Studies show that even a single intervention with osteopathic manipulation has been shown to decrease neck pain. I will often recommend a short series of treatments (usually one treatment for 3 or 4 weeks) in order for the body to begin to heal appropriately. Most cases of neck and arm pain have some element of muscle strain or sprain, and if so, you should see improvement with manipulation.

What are other options at Holistic Care Approach for my neck and arm pain?

Apart from osteopathic manipulation, you may also benefit from acupuncture treatment, massage therapy, or a variety of supplements to support your system.

If you are new to osteopathic manipulation and have questions you’d like answered prior to beginning care, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office: 616-361-9221.

We look forward to seeing you!

Dr. Heineman is physician specializing in Neuro-Musculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (NMM/OMM). She commonly screens for nutritional deficiencies and offers expanded testing for thyroid, adrenal and other hormonal dysfunction. She is now practicing out of Holistic Care Approach and is serving as its Medical Director.

A Holistic Approach to Hypothyroidism:

a post by Katherine Heineman, DO at Holistic Care Approach

What does thyroid hormone do?

Thyroid hormone is the body’s metabolic regulator. Every cell in the body from muscles to organs to arteries depends on adequate thyroid hormone levels to achieve and maintain optimal function.When the thyroid gland is releasing inadequate amounts of thyroid hormone to meet the body’s demands, the metabolic rate is reduced.

Some common symptoms of hypothyroidism include the following:

  • Brittle nails
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Poor memory
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin
  • Elevated cholesterol
  • Essential hypertension
  • Hair loss
  • Nervousness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Infertility
  • Irritability
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weight gain

What are some concerns for long-standing, untreated hypothyroidism?

Long-standing, untreated hypothyroidism can predispose patients to developing high cholesterol levels, which can lead to coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the number one killer in the US. However, when the hormonal system is re-balanced appropriately, oftentimes, the cholesterol level will lower significantly, thus lowering events related to heart disease.

How is the thyroid gland stimulated?

The pituitary gland releases thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in order to stimulate the thyroid gland. Once stimulated, the thyroid gland then secretes two major hormones, Thyroxine (T4) and Triiodothyronine (T3). T3 is about 300 times more active than T4. T3 is responsible for increasing the metabolism inside the cells.

What does a conventional approach to diagnosing hypothyroidism look like?

The conventional approach to thyroid illness primarily revolves around the measurement of the TSH level. The TSH test has been the gold standard for conventional medicine to diagnose hypothyroidism for greater than 30 years. The reference range for ‘normal’ reported by most laboratories is 0.5-4.5 mIU/L.

What does a holistic approach to diagnosing hypothyroidism look like?

A holistic approach to diagnosing hypothyroidism will look at more than just the TSH levels. It is very valuable to also check T3 and T4 levels. Many times, patients will have normal T4 and TSH levels, but will have low T3 levels, bringing about the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism. In addition, many people cannot adequately convert T4 into T3 because of nutrient deficiencies, medications, illness, stress, aging, and more.

Despite the ‘normal’ reference levels from most laboratories for TSH ranging up to 4.5 mIU/L, my experience has been clinically that the majority of patients have optimal thyroid function with a TSH between 0.3-2.0 mIU/L.

Which thyroid medication is the best?

There is no one “best” medication, as each patient is a unique biochemical individual. There are many options available to treat the underlying cause(s) of thyroid disorders. The conventional thyroid hormone replacement is Levothyoxine (Synthroid) which is an exclusively T4 thyroid preparation. Inactive ingredients of Synthroid include cornstarch, dyes, and lactose. In those individuals who cannot convert some, most, or all of T4 into T3, the T4 preparation may not be the best choice for thyroid hormone replacement.

What are other options for thyroid hormone replacement?

Amour Thyroid is a T4 and T3 thyroid hormone replacement derived from porcine (pig) thyroid gland. As it is glandular derived, it contains other active ingredients including calcitonin, selenium and thyroid hormones T2 and T1. Other porcine derived thyroid hormone replacements include Westhroid and Nature-Throid.

Cytomel is an exclusively T3 preparation. Cytomel contains sucrose and talc as inactive ingredients.

Compounding pharmacies can make various doses of T4 and T3 thyroid hormones without the additional additives and fillers. Sometimes it can be very beneficial to provide an individualized ratio of T4/T3 specific for each patient, or for those with allergy concerns.

Many times it can take a trial and error period to find the optimal dose for the patient. If you do not feel you are achieving the best results with your thyroid medication, I might suggest trying a different medication or altering the dose.

What are some common vitamin and mineral deficiencies that affect thyroid functioning?

In order for the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormone, adequate amounts of iodine must be present. Other vitamins and minerals are essential for aiding in the conversion of T4 to T3. These include selenium, zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B12. When these vitamin and mineral levels are inadequate, symptoms of hypothyroidism may develop.

What else might be considered regarding hypothyroidism?

A holistic treatment plan for hypothyroidism may also include natural hormones, vitamin and mineral supplementation, dietary changes, and detoxification.

As you can see, treating thyroid disorders involves more than simply adjusting medications based on lab tests. Often times, thyroid disorder can be improved upon or corrected by simply improving the function of the thyroid gland with appropriate vitamins and minerals and by detoxifying the system.

There is lots of hope for patients with thyroid disorders. Educate yourself and don’t accept disease. You must be your own advocate in working toward achieving your optimal health.

headshot_drheinemanDr. Heineman is a fully licensed, board-eligible physician in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. She specializes in the apprenticed art of osteopathy that has been passed down, literally “hand to hand,” over the last 150 years. At Holistic Care Approach, Dr. Heineman will work with all of the holistic health care offerings and provide her specific expertise to approach health care problems including low back pain, neck pain, other somatic pain, headaches, traumatic injuries, pain of pregnancy, and treatment of infants with chronic infections, colic, plagiocephaly, torticollis, or birth trauma.

An osteopathic approach to medicine is ideal for patients looking for alternative solutions to chronic health issues. Dr. Heineman will commonly screen for nutritional deficiencies and offer expanded testing for thyroid, adrenal and other hormonal dysfunction. She will explore alternative approaches that are used in place of, or in addition to, prescription medications. Dr. Heineman fully discusses treatment plans regarding any abnormalities found in testing.

Join Us Nov. 14 for a Special Tour & Lecture!

headshot_drheinemanPlease join us for a special open house with our new Medical Director, Dr. Kate Heineman, D.O., Wednesday Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Call 361-9221 to register today!

Dr. Heineman will give a free tour and lecture on Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine and the art of balancing eastern and western healthcare systems for an integrated approach.

Osteopathic manipulation is a gentle, hands-on technique, based on sound anatomic and physiologic principles, used to evaluate and treat tissue dysfunction. It is based on the principle that the human body possesses self-healing mechanisms that are the source of true healing. The osteopath is trained to discover the treatment plan that these forces have already designed, in that moment, specifically for that patient. The focus in treatment then deals directly with the abnormal body physiology using an array of direct and indirect techniques.

Dr. Heineman is trained in osteopathic manual manipulation, a skill that fewer than 1% of all D.O.s are trained! She is a Graduate of Des Moines University, College of Osteopathic Medicine and a frequent lecturer on topics such as rheumatology, nephrology, urology, shoulder treatment, neck and arm pain, and lumbar spine.

An osteopathic approach to medicine is ideal for patients looking for alternative solutions to chronic health issues. Dr. Heineman commonly screens for nutritional deficiencies and offers expanded testing for thyroid, adrenal and other hormonal dystunction. She explores alternative approaches that are used in place of, or in addition to, prescription medications.

We hope you take this opportunity to meet our new medical director and learn more about her unique training and breadth of experience!

Read more about our Holistic Health Care Center.

Please Register by calling (616) 361-9221.

Skin Care Center: Now Open!

photofacial-2We’re excited to announce that Holistic Care Approach is home to the new Grand Rapids Skin Care Center, featuring leading edge technology for healthy beauty!

Holistic Care Approach has always aimed to foster healthy beauty from within. Now West Michigan men and women can enjoy radiant, healthy beauty on the outside too through gentle photo facials using broad band light (BBL) therapy, combined with the latest clinical skin care products, trusted holistic wraps and facials, and the best management practices.

Our new skin center equipment allows us to treat multiple skin conditions, from Acne and Rosacea to age spots and hair removal. Our team of professional aestheticians and medical staff can also restore the youthful appearance of skin using our SkinTyte system, which firms and tightens trouble areas like neck wattle, loose skin from weight loss or pregnancy and other areas prone to sag with age.

“We researched the clinical track record of Sciton and its broad band light therapy extensively before making the decision to invest in this infrastructure for the Skin Care Center,” said owner Barb Meconis, RN.

“This is the most effective, non-invasive treatment available to improve a wide range of skin conditions and meet aesthetic goals with the added convenience of minimal down time. Our clientele are busy people who want to achieve their goals quickly, and comfortably.”

The center will be offering a FREE skin care consultation to prospective clients where staff will prepare a CARE plan. The team’s goal for every client is “Radiance.”