When it comes to maintaining health, Kathy Gruver isn’t satisfied with the quick-fix approach of Western medicine. Through her work in massage, homeopathy, nutrition, Reiki, and Bach flower remedies, Gruver coaxes her clients toward “a lifestyle change—not just a Band-Aid.”

Gruver is the author of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Hundreds of Ways to Take Charge of Your Health. Naturally. The book calls upon her two decades of experience in the field of alternative medicine and is designed as an introductory guide for the relative newcomer to the field. “I just want to spread the word that there are sometimes better options than drugs and surgery,” Gruver explained, sitting in her office on upper State Street. “People are disenchanted with the medical system right now; whether it’s health insurance, or the fact that you leave the doctor’s office after six minutes with a prescription for drugs, a lot of people are ready to make a change.”

Her work may not be exactly mainstream, but Gruver takes a no-nonsense approach. Her book features chapters on dealing with stress, sleeplessness, back pain, acid indigestion, high blood pressure, and cancer. Some of her health tips are no-brainers (soda is bad for you; exercise is good), but others are less straightforward. “When we talk about health, we think of exercise and vitamins,” she said. “But if you’re doing unhealthy stuff in your mind, you’re not really healthy.”

Hence, a good deal of Gruver’s work with clients—and her writing—focuses on what she calls “mind-body medicine.” “Stress is a huge cause of a lot of our problems,” she said, adding, “It’s not really the stress itself that’s the problem; it’s how we handle the stress.” Her top stress-busting tips? “Get a massage,” she suggested. “Take a few minutes every day for focused thought—even if you’re just picking the dead leaves off plants in the garden. And because our food is no longer providing us with the nutrition we need, take a good vitamin and mineral supplement—not the cheap ones you get in a bulk-size bottle at Costco.”

Gruver’s straight-talking style has earned her loyal supporters—even in these challenging times, her business is thriving. The next step, she said, is to reach out to the community through workshops and seminars. On Friday, April 30, she’ll give a presentation on Bach flower remedies, sleep, and mind-body medicine at Paradise Found at 7 p.m. She’ll also lead two massage workshops for couples at Whole Foods on Saturday, May 1, at 1 and 3 p.m. All of these events are free and open to the public.

Those interested in her book will find it on the shelves at Chaucer’s Books and Paradise Found, as well as on Amazon.com. With so many natural health books on the market, what makes this one different? “It’s a collection of tidbits on various topics,” Gruver said. “It’s a good resource for people who don’t know where to start.”


To learn more about Gruver’s work, visit healingcirclemassage.com or call 680-1984.


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