Since 2005, Alternative Health Group has given Chicagoans the opportunity to take control of their well-being. This acupuncture and Oriental medicine spot, started by Timothy Suh (who began studying Chinese medicine after losing his mom to cancer) wants everyone to know that diseases like bad skin, body odor, migraines, addiction and sinus problems can be resolved naturally, not just temporarily by prescriptions.
The bright, clean and spacious center sits right on North Avenue in the heart of Wicker Park. After being buzzed in, youíre instantly transported away from the hustle and bustle of the city thanks to a comfy couch, a soothing tabletop waterfall, the warm scent of nag champa incense and the vibrant artwork of Nancy Hilde. It's the perfect environment for some thought-provoking conversation with Suh and his staff so you can determine what treatment suits you best.
Classes: Alternative Health offers daily yoga and tai chi classes (the first session is free and the center also offers a donation class with proceeds going to a different organization each month), as well as massage, occasional meditation classes and a variety of workshops. These classes all take place in the large movement studio at the front of the center.
Extras: Further back, you'll find a smaller room, divided into treatment areas by sliding walls and thick curtains. Acupuncture sessions last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, but initial sessions always take longer, since the practitioner asks a bevy of health questions and sends you home with Chinese herbs for your symptoms. Suh says most of his clients come via referrals from Western doctors and integrative medicine centers. Expect to pay $150 for your first session, but the price will vary afterwards. Unfortunately, acupuncture isnít covered by most insurance companies (yet), but if you get a referral from your doctor, the center will happily try to work with your provider to get some of the service fees covered.
Centerstage Reviewer: Maya Henderson