By Arlene Bachanov
Daily Telegram Special Writer
Adrian Telegram article, May 15, 2016
ADRIAN — Beth Stewart’s professional life already had included working in the world of finance as a manager with the prestigious Coopers & Lybrand accounting firm and as the chief financial officer and vice president for program support for the Florida Aquarium.
Then the search for ways to help her 3-year-old son, who was diagnosed with autism, led her down a completely different career path.
Since Stewart also had a sister with autism, “I knew what was ahead” for her son, she said, and she not only got him into early-treatment programs but also started looking into more ways to help him. That search led her to traditional Chinese medicine, where she learned how to use tuning forks with him in a technique called acutonics.
The change in him was striking. According to Stewart, her son started making eye contact, slept through the night and didn’t have temper tantrums like he used to. So, she started teaching acutonics professionally to others who were interested in using the technique.
“My students were acupuncturists and massage therapists,” she said, and as she watched the acupuncturists learning she realized something: “I was jealous of them,” she said, laughing. And so, at the age of 50, she went back to school to learn acupuncture.
Eventually, life led her from Florida, where she’d spent 30 years of her life before her career change, back to Adrian. “As a five element acupuncturist, I can’t live in a place that has endless summer,” she said.
She practiced locally for about three years before deciding to step out on her own in order to be able to have larger quarters and serve more clients. The result was a new wellness center called Phoenix Rising: Adrian Wellness Center.
Phoenix Rising, at 101 W. Maumee St. in downtown Adrian, offers not only acupuncture but massage therapy, Chinese herbal medicine, life coaching and naturopathic medicine as well. In addition to Stewart, six people are on the staff.
The center, named for the mythic creature that burns up and then is regenerated from its ashes, “is dedicated to the concept that wellness is a combination of a sound body, a quiet mind and a delighted spirit,” according to its mission statement. It opened in late February and celebrated its grand opening May 6 during Adrian’s First Friday event. Since it first opened, things have been “unfolding in a very interesting way,” Stewart said, as she works both to expand the overall clientele and to carry out still more renovations to the historic building.
Ultimately, she said, she would like to move the actual wellness facilities to the building’s second floor, have loft apartments on the third floor and something like a coffee shop or bistro on the ground floor.
“You have to shoot for the moon and maybe end up in the stars,” she said. “What a beautiful location at the (downtown’s) four corners. It’s a great honor to be here and introduce Chinese medicine to the community, and be back home.”
First-time acupuncture clients get a free 30-minute consultation, during which Stewart takes a full medical history and assesses a number of areas related to the person’s current health and well-being.
The number of acupuncture treatments the client needs varies, but Stewart said the rule of thumb is that for every year a particular symptom has been experienced, “unwinding” the underlying cause takes one month of weekly treatments.
The general per-treatment charge is $125, but she will charge as low as $85 in certain cases. Massage therapy ranges from $50 to $85, depending on the length of the massage. Fees for the center’s other services vary.
Phoenix Rising is open by appointment from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Friday and Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Its phone number is 759-4018. More information is available online at www.adrianwellnesscenter.com.
Beth Stewart, owner, acupuncture physician and Chinese herbalist, has opened Phoenix Rising, a wellness center, in downtown Adrian.
TELEGRAM PHOTO BY BASHAR ALSHABI