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Arogya Soothes, Heals and Relaxes

Antibiotics have been healing people for less than a century. Chinese medicine, however, started doing the job at least 5,000 years before Penicillin's Petri dish heralded a new era in treatment. While there are now medications that tackle pain and stress, when it comes to treating them the time-honored Chinese way, Arogya is a local panacea.

Yoga and traditional Chinese medicine are a way of life for me," says Wei Huang Bertram, the founder and managing director of Arogya Holistic Healing and Arogya Tea , in Westport. "Having grown up in Shanghai, China, I realized that holistic preventative care was something deeply ingrained in the culture of China but was unfortunately lacking in the lives of most Americans." Wei should know. She is a lifelong student of yoga and traditional Eastern medicine and holistic healing.

Wei, 41, moved to Westport from China in 1992 and has lived in Connecticut ever since. She lives in Westport with her husband, Gregor and their 5 year-old daughter, Rose.

Arogya, which means "holistic health" in Sanskrit, should really mean relaxation, because that is exactly what happens to any reasonable person as soon as they cross its threshold. The aura -- from subtle tea and candle-infused fragrances wafting through the air to the calming colors on every wall -- immediately unwraps layers of stress that bind every multi-tasking adult. In addition to treatment rooms where she offers Qigong healing (a Mandarin term describing various Chinese systems of physical and mental training for health), massage, acupuncture, Reiki and facials, Wei also sells loose-leaf tea and tea-ware, herbs, essential oils, candles and holistic healing products.

Her enterprise began modestly in 1997, when she opened a small tea and herb shop that offered healing products and Qigong healing. Wei was determined to broaden the scope of her services: "My dream was to provide a place where people could experience the healing traditions of the East; where they could learn about the benefits of tea and taste an array of extraordinary blends, and also be a part of our holistically-oriented community -- where a healthy lifestyle is promoted, encouraged and made accessible." And in 2000, just a few doors down from her tea shop, she opened Arogya .

Wei says that Westporters are exceptionally "open-minded, curious and well-educated." Many are looking, she says, for a greater sense of balance "where body, mind, and spirit are integrated." Arogyo allows us all to do just that.

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