Renee McLain said she felt like she had been destined to open a wellness center for most of her life. She suffered from juvenile arthritis and thyroid cancer, and credits nontraditional medicine for her recovery.
In 2015 when she was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, a disease that caused inflamed tissue to grow on her lungs and heart, she was faced with heart surgery.
“I just kept thinking, ‘I want to live, I want to live, I want to live,’” she recalled. “I heard that voice in my head say, ‘Well, then do what you came here to do.’”
McLain had been teaching wellness practices and therapy work through word-of-mouth for more than 20 years. In mid-November, two years after the surgery, she opened Center of Grace along Market Place in Manlius, off Enders Road.
With Crouse Hospital’s Manlius extension and the Synergy Center both near Center of Grace, a blending of medical care and natural healing options now exists in one area, McLain said. She hopes people will find their way to Center of Grace, whether they’re seeking aid to overcome previous trauma, chronic pain or illness, or just want a fun stress reliever.
“An emotion gets suppressed in the body and festers and turns into disease,” she said. She has met people who never had luck with traditional medicines, but felt better after a few sessions of natural wellness practices that paid attention to their body’s inner needs. These practices can help people overcome the negative energies or emotional blocks stopping them from living fulfilling lives, McLain said.
The center offers several types of yoga, from gentle yoga to Kundalini yoga to “Buddahful Bellies” yoga for pregnant women, as well as massages and Reiki, a Japanese technique that taps into the body’s energy to promote healing. There is also wellness and life coaching, counseling and psychotherapy. McLain also wants to open a small café inside to promote nutrition. “I tried to cover all the bases to support people in their wholeness,” she said.
McLain intends to create talking circles for teens and children so younger generations can cope with their own emotions, which could help lower rates of depression and suicide. She also said she’d love to take her teachings to the local jail population.
Center of Grace is located at 8219 Market Place, Building 10, in Manlius. For a schedule of sessions and workshops, visit centerofgraceny.com/health-wellness-events-syracuse.