Loyola graduate Stephanie Draus fell in love with Logan Square when she lived there a decade ago. She returned to Chicago from her doctoral training in Naturopathic Medicine because she wanted to bring holistic healing to the windy city...specifically to the neighborhood she cared so much about.
Named after a common medicinal herb that Draus often prescribes to her patients, Stellaria's sunny studio takes up the bottom two floors of a mostly-residential building, and the staff is proud of its warm, mellow feel. The two treatment rooms and one classroom have hardwood floors and white walls, with plants and landscape photography making up most of the simple decor. Classes are small, so personal attention is maxed, and all instructors and therapists are highly trained.
Naturopathic sessions begin with an extensive history of your medical past, eating habits and lifestyle. "When patients come in for a consultation, inevitably they'll stop halfway through and apologize for talking so much," says Draus. "They've been trained to rush through appointments with doctors, to not take up too much time. We're not like that here. We want to hear everything." Draus will analyze what you've told her and work with you to develop a sustainable plan for change that often include diet, exercise and customized herbal supplements that will help you get yourself back in balance.
Classes: Stellaria's t'ai chi, Nia, meditation, belly dancing and yoga classes are all beginner-friendly. With the exception of belly dancing, all weekly classes are arranged in four- to six-week sessions, which you register and pay for ahead of time. Prices are reasonable, ranging $40-$90 for the session packages. It may seem like a daunting commitment, but once you've gotten yourself going, you'll be thankful for the extra motivation and the benefit of working with a teacher who can learn to plan for your needs.
Extras: Schedule one-on-one sessions for Thai, hot stone, Swedish and prenatal/postpartum massages, as well as naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, counseling and integral bodywork.
Centerstage Reviewer: Julia Steinberger