Alternative medicine center opens in downtown Port Orchard

Ally Roberts and Stephen Chambers are two of the partners operating out of Spirit Wind West in Port Orchard. - Charlie Bermant
Ally Roberts and Stephen Chambers are two of the partners operating out of Spirit Wind West in Port Orchard.
— image credit: Charlie Bermant

Four South Kitsap practitioners of alternative medicine have joined forces to offer a one-stop shop for needs that aren’t satisfied by conventional health providers.

Spirit Wind West, located on Bay Street in downtown Port Orchard, has been in business all summer but is holding its grand opening this weekend.

The celebration includes discounts, raffles and Halloween candy.

“We’re meeting a need in this community,” said Ally Roberts, who practices Tarot and Reiki. “We are not replacing traditional medicine, but are providing services that help people to stay healthy and cure certain ailments.”

“Port Orchard is a good place for us because it is a community that supports itself,” said aromatherapist Kris Colcock. “A center for alternate healing is something that a lot of people want because many of us are tired of taking pills all the time.”

In addition to Roberts and Colcock, the services provided are massage and herbs, provided respectively by Marty Cartwright and Stephen Chambers.

All of the partners have other jobs and obligations but work together in a partnership to run the shop during regular hours.

The business also solicits customers who may not be spiritual searchers but just are looking for something bright and cool.

Crystals, art and clothing are for sale in styles that aren’t available at the average shopping mall.

Many non-traditional treatments require a certain amount of faith, and a willingness to trust the herbs and potions to replace standard medicine. There is no such requirement here. The partners believe that alternative medicine can be used in conjunction with standard pharmaceuticals, to complement what someone is already taking.

Herbs can never replace chemotherapy, but they can address some of the problems (nausea, trouble sleeping) that accompany the treatment.

With that in mind, Chambers does an inventory of all the medications a patient is already taking before prescribing an herbal remedy.

“Before treating someone, I give them a detailed health questionnaire,” he said. “I want to make sure that whatever herbs I give them interact with what is already in their body.”

Chambers offers a starter course in herbology, a three-day, six-hour session that gives the average person insight into the process.

“It’s surprising to me how many people are drawn toward herbal remedies,” he said. “People are interested in healing themselves and putting the responsibility for their health into their own hands.”

While Chambers wouldn’t recommend a patient who has access to medication that works for them to substitute herbs, it is different if someone is uninsured or hard to diagnose. Herbs are not covered by insurance, but they cost far less than the equivalent pharmaceuticals.

Roberts, who teaches English and philosophy at South Kitsap High School, imparts a metaphysical tone to her treatments.

“People are looking for explanations of what exists and doesn’t exist,” she said. “They want to explore ideas that aren’t found in traditional places. They may want to explore the effect different energy has on their body, and become aware of these levels.”

Roberts feels that alternative medicine can cast a pre-emptive strike against illness.

“In a lot of cases disease begins in a non-physical place,” she said. “By addressing these issues, they can heal their bodies in a positive way.”

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