by Linda Viertel
Oriental medicine, oftentimes described as non-traditional or “alternative,” is becoming an increasingly sought after treatment modality for not only curing aches, cramps and pains, but also diagnosing and relieving the body’s ailments through a variety of therapeutic treatments. And, at Ren Shen Healing, owner and primary practitioner Sean E. Chillemi, MSTOM LA.c, LMT, HHC, brings his credentials to bear in helping others restore their energy and good health.
Having moved from his old office on Tarrytown’s Main Street in 2009 to the Reformed Church of the Tarrytown’s Synod House on North Broadway, he has since expanded to provide three treatment rooms offering acupuncture, acupressure, oncology massage and both cupping and heat therapy (moxibustion). Sitting on the bench under the Church’s arching courtyard tree provides a quiet moment for peaceful meditation before or after treatment in the calm basement office setting.
Chillemi, now pursuing his fifth educational degree, has a passion for healing his patients. Having been diagnosed with skin cancer at age 21 while obtaining his B.A. from PACE University in economics, he began to appreciate the importance of alternative medicine. Since then he has devoted himself to traditional Oriental Medicine and gained a number of degrees in the process. He garnered three degrees simultaneously from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine: a Bachelor of Professional Studies (BPS) in Asian Holistic Health and Massage, a BPS in Chinese herbology, and a Master’s of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine.
Over the years and in between Chillemi’s academic studies, he has also gained certifications in Kyo-jung (Korean Physical Manipulation), Medical Qi Gong, has become a board certified Holistic Health Counselor of Drugless Practitioners, and earned a certification for Acupuncture and Medical Massage for Cancer Patients from Sloan Kettering.
Now, he concentrates on his patients. He is able to see 12 to 15 a day, treating neurological conditions affecting the back, neck and shoulder, joint pain, side-effects from chemotherapy, and neuropathies. His Ph. D. thesis, in fact, will be on chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathies, which are conditions relating to nerve pain and disability. Chillemi describes his treatments as giving, “A holistically integrative approach. I look at the ‘whole you’ which combines mind, body and soul (the three treasures: jing, qi and shen).” He describes Ren Shen by explaining, “Ren is the healing spirit of humanity, and shen is the soul, the spirit that resides in the heart. Also, it’s short for my wife’s name Reneelyn, and Shen is the closest sound to the Chinese way of saying Sean.”
Chillemi also has a passion for teas; he is constantly creating differing medicinal teas to complement his treatments and to enhance a calming effect on the body. He hopes to create an integrative wellness center incorporating a café with treatments. And, when his Ph.D. is fulfilled, he plans to be able to dispense medicinal herbs as another complement to treatment. Meanwhile, his clients are able to text him 24 hours a day, a personal touch that establishes trusting relationships at his wellness center.
Chillemi’s advice during this coming holiday season includes having “a whole body tune up;” winter’s cold weather makes the body prone to getting sick. And acupuncture will help the body boost its immune system. “Stay active but don’t overdo it,” he explains.” Try meditation, tai-chi, quigong, or yoga. Eat and drink warming foods, including teas. Remember to hydrate – drink lots of water. Care for the mind, body and soul in wintertime. Maybe even give yourself or a friend a gift for the holidays that can last a lifetime – a holistic approach to treatment.” That’s what healing and health is all about.