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New wellness clinic offers a natural approach to optimal health

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With an idea of helping people achieve overall wellness, Bobbi and Nikki Marshall opened a clinic.

To their knowledge, Health Infusion Bermuda Ltd was the first wellness space of its kind in Bermuda and the sisters were excited that it provided natural solutions - one of three facets they saw as essential to wellbeing, along with traditional medicine and mindfulness.

With their mother, Debbie Walsh-Brown, as the centre’s anchor, they opened under the guidance of Rick Olazabal, the clinic’s naturopathic technician.

Unfortunately, the timing was off.

“We opened our doors two weeks before Covid-19 [hit Bermuda],” said Bobbi. “It’s been a hard year. Everything took a lot longer than we thought.”

A practising lawyer, she might never have gotten involved in the health industry if fate hadn’t intervened.

“It’s been an incredibly long journey. Halfway through my law school experience I actually got incredibly ill. And so I have had my own journey towards health for the past eight years.”

With hope of getting better she sought help from doctors and medical practitioners across North America, eager to find someone who made her feel “comfortable” and was willing to answer the many questions she had about her health in a way she could understand.

“The person that I ended up working with was someone that believed in a treble approach to health and wellness,” Bobbi said.

“Essentially what that means is that she believes in order for a person to be healthy there would be three things that they would have to take into consideration. One would be the traditional medical route [with] pharmaceuticals as necessary. They are necessary, they’re there for a reason and we respect that.

“The second one is natural solutions; preventive things, supportive things for your system. I was on pharmaceuticals and everything that you take has a side effect. So I was looking at how to support my liver, how to support my immune system [and various other things] such as energy levels, while receiving what I had to receive.”

The third aspect, mindfulness, was the one most people had difficulty in maintaining, Bobbi was told.

“No matter what [nutrients] you put in your body, no matter what you do, if you are not in a place of gratitude and moving forward and understanding that you need a certain type of attitude to be well and thrive, you’re always going to be stuck.

“[My health practitioner] was adamant. She said, ‘I’m at my full scale, you have to agree to all three of my approaches or else we can’t work together.’”

Once law school was finished she needed help to remain healthy so she could cope with “a number of challenging jobs” and two young children.

“I was always working really long hours – 10, 12 hours a day. So I continued to receive natural treatments in Canada with a naturopath there. I didn’t return to Bermuda for a long time but when I came back last summer for my sister’s wedding that was the first thing I looked for.

“I looked for somewhere I could go to speak to someone about receiving natural support when I was on the ground, things to make sure my immune system stayed OK with travelling – and I noticed that there was a need for something like this.”

As it turned out her sister, an investment analyst, agreed.

“I’m constantly, every day, evaluating investment opportunities, understanding market trends and for probably the last five or six years, Bobbi and I have been having this conversation around how the traditional medical approach is very reactive – in terms of how people think about disease, about how people think about specifically chronic illness and how people just kind of understand wellness,” Nikki said.

“When you think of wellness, a lot of people associate it with health but it’s very multidimensional. In order to be in a state of wellness and a state of balance you need to think about your mental wellness, your physical wellness. You need to think about mindfulness and making sure you’re doing things that allow you to grow, to transform and follow your passions.”

What was evident to her was that there had been a gradual shift from reactive to preventive care.

“People have started getting more involved in things like yoga, people are starting to understand more herbal remedies, there’s this trend towards clean beauty and understanding what’s going into your body.

“More people are becoming vegetarian. I think there’s a wider conscious that’s happening. So I think from that perspective I thought this is a good business opportunity because I think there’s a need for it and I think people want to spend time and resources investing in themselves more.

“And I didn’t think that was something that was currently offered in its wholesomeness within the Bermuda market.”

Added to all of that was the change she had witnessed in her older sister.

“I’ve always looked up to her and seeing her experience through the chronic illness, how it knocked her off her feet and then understanding her journey. How it moved her from being a person who didn’t necessarily focus all the time on her wellness or her health – because she was in survival mode and she was raising two boys and that takes a lot of work – to somebody who had more confidence, had more energy.

“I’ve seen the transformation that sticking to something like this and sticking to a natural routine can have on your lifestyle.”

Having tried it out for herself, she is now “completely sold”.

“I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my energy, in my sleep, in just my overall, general outlook on things and I think that’s what allows you to build a base and go out and do the things that you love and want to spend your time doing.”

In researching what Bermuda offered Nikki discovered there were a lot of traditional medical practices and many alternative options.

“[But] I don’t know anywhere that’s focusing specifically on a wellness concept from an internal/external perception, where you can treat both your internal and external self naturally and have positive benefits on both sides,” Bobbi said. “I think individually, all the pieces are available locally it’s just collectively putting it all together in this atmosphere is what is new.”

Response has been great so far, both from clients and the community.

Said Nikki: “We have a really high client retention rate here and I think that’s because of the feeling and the vibe that you get when you walk in and that Rick and mom are able to create on a daily basis.”

Added Bobbi: “We’ve been received really well and, [even more than that], we’ve received support. Within the wellness space there is a group of people, of companies, of support and collaboration that I didn’t remember a decade ago.

“I’m grateful. It’s a new concept. People who don’t know have listened and they’ve asked for more information and they’ve been receptive to that information, and people who do know have been supportive and open as well.”

Contact Health Infusion Ltd at info@healthinfusionbermuda.com; 707-0503. For more information visit healthinfusionbermuda.com

Education a big part of Health Infusion

Education is a big part of Rick Olazabal’s work at Bermuda’s new wellness clinic, Health Infusion Ltd.

Much of that is done through the complimentary consults that help people understand how he can improve their overall wellbeing.

“There is a very thorough naturopathic intake form that we do [and] a discussion with the patient,” the naturopathic technician said. “I like to collaborate with conventional physicians. I have patients go and see their GP and we have discussions about what would be suitable for them. Clinical presentation – so symptoms, signs – would also be good indicators and then we go from there [so I know] exactly what would be safe and appropriate for a patient.”

Among the many things on offer: acupuncture for pain relief, nutrient and beauty therapies; facial acupuncture, facial Geisha and cupping.

“Dr Rick” as he is called, also creates custom “topical, natural products to use on the skin” for clients and personally vets all the retail brands the clinic offers to ensure they are of highest quality.

Owners Bobbi and Nikki Marshall say they have done all they can to keep costs “as reasonable as possible”.

“We also looked at the cost of some of the services in other parts and we’re about one-third, two-thirds of the cost – so significantly cheaper,” Dr Rick said. “Not only were people flying out of the country to get treatment but they were getting generic treatment [and paying] way more; we customise our treatment.”

Health Infusion Bermuda Ltd team from left: Nikki Marshall, Debbie Walsh-Brown, Rick Olazabal and Bobbi Marshall (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Health Infusion Bermuda Ltd (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Health Infusion Bermuda Ltd (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published December 11, 2020 at 4:29 pm (Updated December 11, 2020 at 4:28 pm)

New wellness clinic offers a natural approach to optimal health

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