Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Edition
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Associated Chiropractic Sports & Health Center and Konnections Massage

Back when Kathy Hatcher replied to an ad for an assistant at Dr. Joseph A. Perelli’s chiropractic practice, it was a decision that would lead to not just a new career, but also to a lifelong partner. The couple wed in 1997 and today, Hatcher and Dr. Perelli are not just husband and wife but also business partners, operating their wellness practices—Konnections Massage and Associated Chiropractic Sports & Health Center—under one roof in Whitehall, Pennsylvania.

“Massage therapy couples perfectly with chiropractic because you’re looking at the body structurally,” Hatcher explains. “The muscles, tendons and ligaments are attached to the bone, spine and joints. As a licensed massage therapist, I take care of soft tissue work, and the chiropractor makes sure that structurally, everything is in alignment.”

Before pursuing a career as a chiropractor, Dr. Perelli was a high school teacher and athletic coach. Yet he was always intrigued by chiropractic as a natural approach to healthcare because his uncle was a chiropractor and he had always benefitted greatly from chiropractic care. He returned to school to study at Palmer College of Chiropractic, in Iowa. After graduation, he returned to Pennsylvania and opened Associated Chiropractic Sports & Health Center in 1988.

Education and chiropractic care go side-by-side, Dr. Perelli notes, because he’s teaching people wellness and how to care for their bodies to prevent injuries or illnesses. He treats patients utilizing traditional chiropractic as well as the newer soft tissue techniques including the KST Arthrostim instrument adjustments. “Those types of adjustments are more comfortable and much less aggressive than traditional chiropractic treatment methods,” says Dr. Perelli.

Dr. Perelli also specializes in athletic and sports injuries, and he treats many high school and college athletes. The facility has a full rehabilitation center on site to get patients “back in the game” again. He also provides care for workman’s compensation injuries, auto accidents and lower back and leg pain. He also has great success with addressing all types of headaches and neck pain.

Dr. Perelli emphasizes that Hatcher’s massage practice, Konnections Massage, is a big component to the patient’s total care. “In addition to her own private massage practice here on site, she also treats our chiropractic patients, so she knows their issues, she sees their x-rays and knows what type of chiropractic care they’re receiving,” he explains. “She has a good grasp on the muscle components, and when I refer a patient, I can say ‘here are the x-rays and what I’m doing, and here are the areas where I think the patient needs attention.’ The patient is getting two-for-one care under one roof.”

Hatcher had worked in retail and in geriatric healthcare before working with Dr. Perelli, and she’d always been interested in alternative healthcare and teaching people preventive ways to stay healthy. She provides many types of massage therapy including deep tissue—one of the most commonly used massages—which addresses acute or chronic long-term pain by using a variety of strokes to reduce muscular stress and restore range-of-motion, balance and function. She also offers hot stone massage; chair massage; Lomi Lomi, a light pressure technique that originated in the South Pacific; and therapeutic massage for pregnant or geriatric patients.

Additional services include the ionic foot cleanse, a detoxifying treatment in which one sits with his or her feet submerged in a bath of ionized water that pulls out toxins through the pores in the feet. “We’re constantly exposed to toxins, whether it’s off-gassing from plastics, fumes and gasses from the workplace and our environment, or pesticides and other chemicals. Our world has become so toxic that our organs can’t detoxify quickly enough,” Hatcher explains. “The ionic foot cleanse stimulates organs to release those toxins, which are released into the water.”

The toxins turn the water dark brown, greenish or foamy, depending on which organ is detoxing. “In the days that follow, the organs continue to release toxins through sweating, urination and defecation, and patients notice that aches and pains go away, they sleep better and even some cravings disappear. Cancer patients have also benefitted from detoxifying after chemotherapy sessions,” she says. The therapy usually requires six or more sessions, depending the patient and his or her wellness goals.

The LipoMelt Treatment is a Red Light therapy that mimics photosynthesis, letting the body absorb light on a cellular level to reproduce, regenerate and implement healing. Patients lie on a table and a light pad is applied to areas they want to treat. Sessions last about 30 minutes. Hatcher says the therapy heals acute injuries and chronic pain such as arthritis. “It’s a pharmaceutical-free pain relief system that can be used to treat any area of acute or chronic pain in the body,” Hatcher explains.

Hatcher notes that another bonus of LipoMelt is Body Sculpting that occurs when the Red Light is applied to fatty areas like the belly, hips, thighs or buttocks, is that fat cells open and release the contents of the cells, similar to a balloon deflating. After a session, the patient stands on a total vibration machine that shakes the whole body to stimulate the lymphatic system to begin eliminating fat from the body. Cumulative treatments result in inches lost. Hatcher says Red Light treatments can also help decrease fine lines and wrinkles—especially in the face —by stimulating collagen production.

Both Dr. Perelli and Hatcher approach wellness through an educational aspect and take time with each patient to find the ‘whys’ behind pain and illness. They also offer nutritional counseling, supplements and body cleansing products. “I think everyone has a responsibility for their health, and that’s why education is very important,” Dr. Perelli emphasizes. “We individualize care and make it fun, giving them information to make gradual, long-lasting changes, along with the tools to follow through.” Dr. Perelli, a Lehigh Valley native, has gotten to know many people in the community through his work teaching, coaching and providing chiropractic care. “We try to create a family atmosphere, and helping people get better is not a job for me. It’s fun and I’m fulfilling a passion. I’m treating two and three generations of families, children, parents and grandparents, and I love what I do.”

Hatcher agrees. “I enjoy finding out about our patients’ lives and what they’re encountering, whether it is personal or professional, and learn of their stressors and health goals so I can address them as a whole unit and help them understand why they’re not feeling well,” she says. “People open talk while on the massage table, and they discuss areas of their lives they want to improve, like nutrition, supplements, stress levels or drinking more water. I help educate them by making the connections toward whole health. And even if we can’t help them in our office, we will refer them out to someone who can to get them results and help them feel better.”

“I was fortunate and lucky to achieve the goals that were set out for me, and I’m happy to work side-by-side with my wife,” Dr. Perelli concludes.

Associated Chiropractic Sports & Health Center and Konnections Massage is located at 656 5th St., Whitehall. For more information, call 610-504-9131 or visit AssociatedChiropractic.com or KonnectionsMassage.com.

Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.

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