By Lanier Laney
Cyndi Allison-Simpkins feels that Christ called her to to her career and that God guided her through school and helped her start her business, The LowCountry Wellness Center, here in Beaufort. The motto “Healing by the Grace of God through touch” reflects her deeply held spiritual beliefs. Says Cyndi, “I am nothing without God’s help. Whenever a client raves about my magical hands, I tell them it is not me, but God the Creator.”
Much of Cyndi’s strong faith originates from a major life altering experience that occurred when she was 26 years old and was struck by a Lays Potato Chip truck which caused a blood clot in her brain that destroyed all of her conscious memory up to that date.
“I was engaged at the time, had a wonderful full life, but all that was lost: high school, college, grade school, family and friends.” But the part of her brain that stores motor memories: eating, talking, walking, and certain learned memories, wasn’t damaged.
Amazingly, through hard work and her parents’ help and encouragement, Cyndi, born in Bamburg and raised in Atlanta, was able to come back from tragedy and rebuild her life from scratch. She had to get to know everyone again, including her mother, father, grandmother and brother. That is one of the reasons that she decided to move to Beaufort where her parents had retired. Says Cyndi, “In Atlanta when I would go places, people from college or high school would come up and start talking and instead of explaining everything, I would generally pretend to know them. My parents brought me to Beaufort and when we crossed the Whale Branch River at high tide and sunset, I knew this was where God had led me!”
And Cyndi is surprisingly not bitter about the loss of her former life. “I believe God uses everything that happens to us. In New York, I was a director of a horseback riding facility for the handicapped. While a wonderful job, it wasn’t utilizing my ‘calling.’ I had already completed college, and, yes, my academic memory was lost. But my hands knew what to do. I could still play the piano, but couldn’t read the music. I could massage the muscles and feel/find the trigger points but didn’t know what I was palpating. So I had to re-learn a lot to be able to pass exams.”
Says Cyndi, “My undergrad degree is from UGA in Sports Medicine, my Masters is from Georgia State in Physical Therapy. My basic massage license is from the Atlanta School of Massage with a year certification program.” She’s also certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage, licensed by the state of South Carolina, and internationally certified by the International Massage & Somatic Therapy Council.
Cyndi also rebuilt her personal life in Beaufort and and now lives happily on a lovely 6 acre organic farm called Edenhope on Lady’s Island with husband, Vince, son Trey, 15, and daughters Sara, 13, and Allison, 12.
Founding the LowCountry Wellness Center
Cyndi worked with the New York Giants and the Molson Beach Volley Ball Team before beginning her rehabilitative therapy clinic here. “I started my business in Beaufort in 1991. Originally named ‘Hands On Healing’ and located in the Beaufort Business Center and the YMCA, I changed the name to LowCountry Wellness Center and moved to 90 Marsh Drive when we built an office on our property.” Cyndi says that the ability to truly help people is what she loves about her job.
Her goal at the Wellness Center is to help clients reduce their stress, feel better and be free of pain. Says Cyndi, “There’s no denying the power of bodywork. Regardless of the adjectives we assign to it (pampering, rejuvenating, therapeutic) or the reasons we seek it out (a luxurious treat, stress relief, pain management), massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen.”
In her practice Cyndi has seen her work greatly benefit all sorts of ailments from low-back pain, joint flexibility, refresh tired, injured or overused muscles to helping expectant mothers, post surgery scaring, lessen depression, and assist the body’s natural ability to heal itself while releasing endorphins. The many testimonials on her website attest to her success.
“Cynthia is a therapist in the true sense of the word. She analyzes a physical problem and executes treatment with continuing follow-up. She postponed a shoulder replacement for me for many years and has successfully treated osteoarthritic flare-ups. She is tops in her field and really can make a difference in alleviating and lessening pain,” said one client.
Many doctors regularly refer patients to Cyndi. Said one patient: “When I was 6 and a half months pregnant, I was sent to get my first maternity massage by Dr. Fontana, and it was divine! I’d been having cramping issues along with awful heartburn. After one relaxing session with Cyndi, the cramping subsided, and there was no more heartburn. I just felt better overall and in a much better frame of mind to become a first-time mother. I highly recommend you give the gift of maternity massage to you and your baby within,” praised another.
Cyndi feels it is important to stay current with the latest techniques and breakthroughs and has continued to receive certifications in other techniques over the past 27 years. Notably, specific training from Paul St. John’s Neuromuscular, Bonnie Prudden’s Myotherapy, The Upledger Institute for CranialSacral Therapy, and Myofascial training by John Barnes.
Cyndi has also been very involved in the community over the years where, as a member of the Parish Church of St. Helena Episcopal, she is President of the Parish Church Women. She is also trained as a Stephen Minister which she says helps immensely in her practice healing the mind, body and spirit. Last month she “retired” from being the president of the PTO of Lady’s Island Middle school for the past two years. She is also a graduate of Leadership Beaufort.
About the LowCountry Wellness Center
Cyndi has both men and women clients “from birth to 97 years young,” she said. A half-hour consultation without treatment is free. For hands-on work, half hour segments begin at $40, but an hour is suggested for the first appointment. In certain situations, insurance is accepted. (Check the website for details).
The Wellness Center has gift certificates as well. They can be purchased online for any occasion and can be printed off or received in the mail. Says Cyndi, “The intent of my practice is to get the people that come to me out of pain, and keep them that way. I work hard to learn new techniques that will make me a better therapist and ultimately help you. I believe that if you are pain free, you will feel good enough to refer others in. So come and try the newest in holistic techniques that can get you pain free and being active again!”
Some of the many services provided by the Wellness Center include: Reflexology, Myokinesthetics, Labor and Delivery Massage, Pre and Post Natal Massage, Infant Massage, Aquassage, Equissage, Canine Massage, Sports Massage, Grief Therapy, Craniofacial Therapy, Hot Stone Massage, Pre-Wedding Massage Parties, On-Site Chair Massage, Paraffin Therapy, Ear Candling, Office Ergonomic Evaluations, Postural Fitness Work. Also Cyndi is the only person trained and certified in Laser acupuncture for people in the Beaufort area.
Adds Cyndi, “I also love to educate my patients and tell everyone that a massage is like an oil change for your car. Everyone needs one at least once a month. You can replace your car, but you can’t replace you body!”
For more information, go to www.lowcountrywellnesscenter.com The office is located at: 90 Marsh Drive, Lady’s Island, South Carolina, 29907. Therapy sessions are by appointment only. For bookings, call 843-597-1010 or you can also book online or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.