The healthcare system in the United States is broken. More importantly, this is not just a question of the exorbitant health care charges; these treatments are ineffective for many patients. Consequently, healthcare is fast adopting integrative and complementary healthcare methods because they’re proving effective and empower patients to be active participants on their path to wellness. Heather Sweeney of Sadhana Health Inc. has been at the forefront of this trend in the Los Angeles area.
“Acupuncture, manual therapy, corrective exercise, yoga, mindful movement practices like Qi Gong and Feldenkrais Method, Pilates, breathwork and even meditation are being more utilized in the allied healthcare space,” Heather explains. “Patients are now requesting these modalities and clinical observation is seeing that these interventions yield impressive results. Subjectively, patients are reporting reduced pain, reduced stress and anxiety, improved mobility, and improved overall quality of life. Add to the list of challenges, are physicians recommendations, as many physicians now prescribe these interventions to their patients, however, the average patient doesn’t know how to access these resources .”
Heather established Sadhana Health Inc. to provide these services under one roof in a medically informed setting with some of the best practitioners in the Los Angeles area. All professionals in her practice have extensive backgrounds working in medical settings, with the most delicate autoimmune disease patients, and working with elite athletes from diverse sports backgrounds. The team has worked with NCAA, NFL, Hockey, US Track and Field, and Olympics and Junior Olympics athletes. Sadhana Health also has an extensive network of medical providers and allied healthcare professionals they refer their patients to when appropriate.
Unlike many healthcare professionals, Heather didn’t always know she wanted to be in this space. She spent 16 years in contemporary craft as a struggling artist and full-time mother before she switched careers. In a past interview, she explained that the decision was prompted by her battle with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Given her situation at the time, physicians couldn’t pinpoint the cause of her illness, so they prescribed various medications to help her manage her symptoms, not the root cause of her pain.
“I was referred to a clinic that specialized in integrative medicine,” she recalls. “Over time, I sought out more complementary medical care including acupuncture, manual therapy , and meditation. In addition, I made significant dietary changes with the mindset that “food is medicine,” learned how to manage my stress, weaned off my medications, and ultimately healed.”
In her mid-thirties, Heather’s life dramatically turned, and she knew something had to change. She knew she wanted to be in the complementary and integrative healthcare space and chose to become a manual therapist. After graduating from a master massage therapy program, she obtained her license, took her national certification exam, and worked as a teaching assistant while working at a physical therapy practice.
In 2012, she cold-contacted UCLA’s renowned Center for East-West Medicine via a letter explaining why they needed her on their team. They arranged an interview, and several months later, Heather became a Clinical Specialist at the Center where she treated patients for 6 years. At the Center, she was the recipient of an award for excellent performance. Meanwhile, she’d been growing her private practice since 2011, which subsequently led to resigning from her job at the Center in 2018 to start her own clinic.
Growing Sadhana Health was challenging, particularly during the pandemic, but Heather has never shied away from challenges. She persevered and worked harder to create a leading business changing the nature of healthcare. Her goal is to establish multiple clinics, expand Sadhana Health’s disciplines, and create impactful change regarding how allopathic medicine views complementary modalities in allied healthcare.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.