Lions Learn Value of Holistic Medicine at May Meeting

Dr. Brian Healey, featured speaker at the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club’s dinner meeting, held Wednesday, May 16, in the Sanibel Community House’s Founders Room, gave members and guests an informative primer on alternative wellness practices. As Healey told it, holistic medicine can effectively treat many medical conditions.

Healey, who founded Sanibel Wellness and now operates Fort Myers Acupuncture & Massage, told the crowd that Western medicine “can save and prolong life” in the event of life threatening injury or disease, but is “not so good at dealing with chronic lifestyle illnesses. For chronic illness and promoting wellness, holistic medicine has a better track record,” he said.

Healey pointed to several factors that can either promote or undermine wellness, including diet, emotional state, relationships and stress. “Holistic medicine looks at the entire individual and drills down in search of deeper causes,” he said. “Four patients with ulcers will get four different treatment plans, not a single protocol. As a holistic practitioner, I provide individualized care, rather than a formulaic standard,” he added.

Healey began his journey into alternative medicine, first as a teacher of yoga and then as a medical massage therapist for muscular-skeletal conditions. Now a board-certified Doctor of Oriental Medicine, he specializes in a variety of additional modalities, including meditation, nutrition, homeopathy, acupuncture and herbal remedies.

Healey pointed in particular to acupuncture as an important treatment for pain. “Acupuncture is based on an internal flow of energy in the body that the Chinese call Chi,” he said. “The acupuncture points, lying along the Chi lines of energy, act as valves. These control points adjust the flow of Chi through any area of the body. Disease, dysfunction, pain and different types of headaches can all respond to acupuncture,” he said.

Lions member Bob Kern, who introduced Healey to the group, attested to the validity of acupuncture for his own chronic pain. “For my lower back pain, Brian stuck me in the right shoulder and the right knee,” Kern said. “The pathways were unexpected, but when I got up and walked away, I felt much better. It is phenomenal stuff.”

During the meeting, which was led by Lions Club President Tom Nachazel, Rick Wagner was inducted as Treasurer, and George Vellette was recognized as Lion of the Year.

As outgoing president, this meeting was Nachazel’s last. Reflecting back on his year as president, as well as on his 25-year association with the Club, Nachazel praised the Lions for their community spirit. “I am a Lion, because I love the thought of helping people,” he said. “I wanted to give back. The Lions Club provides the avenue for me to do just that. Our club will always be a work in progress. It’s fun working with such fine people.”

The next dinner meeting of the Sanibel-Captiva Lions Club is 6-8 p.m., June 20, at the Sanibel Community House. Guest speaker is Margaret Muhundro, the Executive Director of the Sanibel Library.

For more information about the Sanibel Captiva Lions Club, visit the Club’s website at