The Art of Healing
If you frequent downtown’s Saturday Morning Market, you may have noticed the sleek, new storefront that recently opened across from the Al Lang Stadium parking lot on First Street South. The stylish design and doggie dish alone outside of Aria Health + Wellness Institute were enough to catch the attention of my dachshund and I on a recent walk, but a peek at Aria’s offerings brought me back the next day.
Husband and wife duo, Dr. Khalilah Weston and Dr. Patrick Weston, work alongside Dr. Paul Kalloghlian to provide healthcare and promote wellness to St. Petersburg residents. The doctors met three years prior in Montreal and began talking about potentially opening a practice that focused on promoting health and wellness without the heavy use of prescription drugs. A few years later, their worlds aligned as they each relocated to Florida and their once-talked-about dream became a reality.
“As a neurologist in Chicago, I was dissatisfied with the way that healthcare is really fragmented with patients,” Dr. Khalilah Weston said. “Working with a specialty in pain management, I was trying to avoid treating them with very heavy doses of medications, and instead find them safer and more interesting alternatives.”
Dr. Khalilah Weston expressed how more times than not, patients want to have access to treatment without being limited to medication. Patients want to have experiences like acupuncture, yoga and other alternative treatments but aren’t sure where to go, how useful it’s going to be, or if it will be medically feasible for them.
“As a physician, I wanted to be able to provide that to them,” said Dr. Khalilah. “But I found that there wasn’t one place that they could go.”
Aria Health + Wellness Institute was born of this need to put together a comprehensive pain management center. Instead of patients having to see multiple different specialists, the Aria team houses each specialist under the same roof. The doctors banded together to consider all of the different ways pain could be treated. From natural remedies and nutrition to more traditional forms of medicine, the Aria team wanted their patients to have access to various treatments that appealed to both their wants and needs.
Managing Stress + Pain the Natural Way
Each of the Aria doctors specializes in different areas of medicine so they can provide comprehensive health care based on the needs of each patient. Dr. Khalilah Weston is double-boarded in neurology and pain management while Dr. Patrick Weston is a cardiologist specializing in vascular problems. Dr. Kalloghlian is a chiropractor who also studied Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. Together, the well-rounded team offers diverse forms of treatment for their patients.
For patients looking to manage pain and stress, they can choose from an extensive list of treatments. By offering treatments like therapeutic massage, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, physical therapy and yoga, patients can choose what works best for them without having to resort to pain medication.
Also offered is bio-identical hormone replacement. Originally used in the treatment of menopause symptoms, the treatment utilizes substances that look identical to hormones found in the body. The treatment works with an individual’s baseline hormone levels and offers increased energy levels, less aches and pain while promoting better sleep and clear thinking.
Spread the Wellness
The Aria doctors worked to add all of these pain management solutions together but wanted to create a space that could be relaxing for everyone, so they expanded their offerings to include spa and aesthetic treatments and general wellness treatments too. Guests are welcome to come by for facials, massages, dermal fillers as well as cosmetic and venous treatments, all which use organic products.
Aria also offers nine different massages so there is something for everyone. Athletes will love Aria’s Oxygenation Massage which aims to prevent injuries, decrease fatigue and improve athletic performance through improved circulation. Another offering is a massage for expectant mothers, which works to reduce stress and relieve swelling, aches and pains.
I scheduled a 50-minute Tension Relief massage with one of Aria’s massage therapists, Simon, and was eager to have some relief from muscle stiffness. The Tension Relief massage aims to relieve chronic tension and release tightness through therapeutic techniques such as deep compressions and applied pressure on trigger points.
Walk through Aria’s doors and you’ll be greeted by an instantly calming atmosphere that blends modernity with tranquility and a design that’s cool and minimal without feeling rigid or stiff. Aria provides luxury accommodations that add a special touch to any visit. Not only was there complimentary lemon-infused water in a waiting room lined with couches and a chaise lounge, but there was a fresh robe and pair of slippers waiting for me for my convenience.
In the past, I’ve walked away disappointed from a handful of massages that felt more like a long backrub than anything, but Simon was great. Attentive and kind, Simon listened to my medical history (which includes a back injury) and paid attention to my problem areas, making sure to ask if I wanted more or less pressure. If I could have stayed at Aria all day, I would have. I left feeling more relaxed than I’ve been in a long time.
The Wellness Dream Team
Life gets crazy and often times we put our health on the backburner, but the Aria doctors want to help patients regain control of their health—whether they are suffering from serious ailments or would just like to feel a little better about themselves. Moreover, the Aria team takes the time to consult with everyone and help them feel a little sounder. The doctors are a true breath of fresh air from the general uncompassionate nature I’d grown accustomed to in the past with other doctors. Whether you’re looking for a way to manage your pain and stress or would just like a little pick-me-up, Aria Health + Wellness has something for you.
“We’re here as a group,” Dr. Kalloghlian said. “We want to help people get better and reclaim their health.”
Good to know: Aria Health + Wellness Institute is located at 115 First Street S.
Insurance is accepted including PPO and Medicare. Walk-ins are also accepted. Stop by to make an appointment or call 727-800-9891. To view all of Aria’s offerings, visit AriaInstitute.com.