Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Peekskill Herald

Wellness Central: The Missing Link in a Health Trifecta

Alina and Joe Rendina renovated the space formerly occupied by LA Monroe Hair Studio to create Wellness Central.

Health and wellness professionals Alina and Joe Rendina seemed to have all the bases covered with Alina’s studio, Fused Fitness, and Joe’s physical therapy practice, Iron Health, but they felt something was missing. Enter Wellness Central.

“We get to help people every single day,” Alina told the Herald, “and we noticed there is a missing link.” While food, exercise, and staying physically healthy help to reduce stress, Alina said, sometimes that’s not enough. So the couple created a studio upstairs from Iron Health on Central Avenue to fill in the missing pieces. The goal of Wellness Central “is to provide a well-rounded experience that will help people live a stress-free life.”

The couple is hosting a grand opening party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Sunday, October 22 at the 939 Central Avenue location. All are welcome.

Health and wellness are a way of life as well as a way to make a living for Alina and Joe Rendina.

The new studio hosts a variety of wellness modalities. In addition to offering massage and acupuncture, Wellness Central has infrared sauna, cold immersion therapy, and float therapy. These modalities focus on reducing inflammation, regulating the central nervous system, helping the body detox, improving metabolic function, and, of course, easing stress.

“Our wellness studio is truly a central hub for wellness modalities, which is how we got the name,” Alina said.

Some of the modalities at Wellness Central are more familiar than others. Most people know what massage is. Acupuncture is somewhat less known. This procedure, a key component of traditional Chinese medicine, involves the insertion of very thin needles through a person’s skin at strategic points in the body. Although commonly used to treat pain, acupuncture is also used for overall wellness and stress relief.

Infrared sauna emits infrared light waves that penetrate the skin and increase core body temperature. It heats your body, whereas traditional sauna heats the air around you.

Prices for services like the infrared sauna and cold immersion therapy, shown above, will vary. There will be bundling as well as monthly membership options.

“To some, infrared saunas are more comfortable to breathe in,” Alina says, “and some people find them more relaxing.” The sweating “is a great way to detox.”

Cold immersion therapy could be a cold shower or a dip in the ocean. Wellness Central has a tub where people can take an intentional cold plunge. There are many benefits of cold immersion therapy. They include: “reducing chronic inflammation, improving daily energy levels, boosting metabolism, regulating blood sugar, increasing production of neurotransmitter dopamine, improving confidence and a sense of resiliency,” said Alina.

The infrared sauna and cold immersion therapy tub are located in the same room at Wellness Central to allow for something known as contrast therapy.

“The idea is to combine cold plunges and sauna together,” Alina says. Going back and forth between the plunge and the sauna “causes the blood vessels to dilate and contract, which helps to improve circulation and reduce inflammation, leading to a variety of health benefits.”

The sensory deprivation tank for float therapy has its own special room. This egg-shaped tank is filled with water and more than one thousand pounds of Epsom salt. Once inside, a person closes the lid (though this is not required), and floats. Wellness Central is offering 60-minute sessions to start but may offer 90-minute sessions in the future.

Float therapy in the sensory deprivation tank can relieve stress, regulate the central nervous system, reduce anxiety and depression, stimulate creativity, and accelerate mental clarity and learning. It can also be a meditative practice or become one. There is a place in the room to sit and journal after sessions.

Alina believes that Wellness Central is a good fit for the people she and Joe currently work with. “All the benefits derived from the experiences we offer at Wellness Central improve the results our members and patients get at our respective businesses,” Alina says. Their respective businesses have been around for a number of years.

Alina started Fused Fitness, formerly known as Cycle 6, in Shrub Oak back in February 2016. Before being a small group personal training gym, Fused Fitness focused on large group classes including HIIT (high intensity interval training), spin, barre, and yoga. She moved Fused Fitness to Peekskill in August 2020.

Alina’s passionate belief in a person’s ability to transform themselves by focusing on exercise and wellness is based on personal experience; she lost close to 30 pounds after graduating from college and changed her life.

“I felt very lost and depressed,” she remembers. “Exercise and a focus on my wellness helped me mentally and physically transform.” Through her work at Fused Fitness, and now the services provided at Wellness Central, Alina wants to “provide that same empowering transformation to others. We’re all in control of our own well-being.”

Joe has been a physical therapist since 2014, when he received his doctorate in physical therapy. He started the Iron Health brand in November of 2016 and has since built it into four practices in the tri-state area. He opened the Peekskill location in October 2019.

Like Alina, personal experience inspired Joe to do the work he does. An ACL tear from a football injury in high school sent Joe to a physical therapist. His physical therapist had such a big impact on his recovery and mindset that Joe wanted to do the same for others.

Wellness Central is one of only two places in Westchester County to offer float therapy.

“When I first started down the journey of physical therapy I wanted to help people recover and feel their best in their day to day life, the same way the PT helped me,” Joe says. “As I entered the profession I soon realized that the “standard” physical therapy model in health care was based on volume more than it was actually based on care. After working at a few different clinics, I knew that I could provide a better quality of care, and I knew that I wanted to raise the standard of health and wellness. Wellness Central is an extension of this vision, because that vision and goal is not exclusive to physical therapy.”

While Alina believes that Wellness Central will help her and Joe’s members and patients improve their outcomes, she emphasizes, “We think everyone should visit Wellness Central! There is literally a service there for everyone.”

Alina and Joe have become fixtures of health and wellness in Peekskill. “We love the open-minded and diverse demographic in Peekskill,” Alina says. They also like the “strong sense of community and warmth” here.

Alina and Joe are now adding more warmth, along with a host of other services, with their infrared sauna.

A visit to Wellness Central can help release any and all of the stressors of the outside world, Alina says. “Your body will thank you for giving it some additional TLC!”

Readers can scan this QR code and get 20 percent off their first visit using the code HERALD20 or click here.


About the Contributor
Jeannette Sanderson has been writing and telling stories since she was a child. The author and her husband moved to Peekskill more than 30 years ago and raised their children here. Jeannette loves Peekskill and delights in meeting and writing about the people who make this city special for the Peekskill Herald.