GROTON -- "Our mission is wellness. We believe the best way to achieve wellness is through a comprehensive approach to dental and medical care which focuses on education, nutrition, detoxification, prevention and good health."
The mission statement of Groton Wellness sounds impressive, but a visit to their wellness compound in Groton's Mill Run Plaza seems to drive the message home.
Dentists Dr. Robert Evans, DMD, and Dr. Jean Nordin-Evans, DDS, function as a team in and out of work. Married since 2003, they came to Groton in 2004.
Sharing a vision of helping the community attain a healthy lifestyle, they opened up their dental practice with the goal of educating patients and empowering them to practice and maintain healthy lifestyles. This was the beginning of their vision of a comprehensive wellness center that has grown into today's Groton Wellness, which includes separate medical and dental offices, as well as a spa and farm-to-table cafe.
The Evanses embrace a holistic approach to dentistry while still providing all the traditional dental treatments: cleanings, filling cavities, TMJ Dysfunction treatments, and children's dentistry, among other things.
The dental team at Groton Wellness includes three holistic dentists: Dr. Terrance Shutts, DDS; Dr. Madelyn Pearson, DDS; and a holistic orthodontist Dr. Sara Ghassemi, DMD. Because the human immune system involves both oral health and general wellness, this team works closely within the perimeters of holistic, health-focused dentistry. This means that in addition to employing a holistic approach to dental health, only safe materials are used. The goal is to reduce toxic exposure to metals or chemicals such as mercury, the planet's second most toxic substance.
Though the American Dental Association still approves of liquid mercury-based fillings as part of amalgam preps for composites (with tin, silver, zinc and or copper), there is a growing movement to recognize the toxicity of mercury to a human body.
For example, a molar-sized mercury filling dropped into a 10-acre lake would be enough to warrant a fish advisory.
According to Dr. Evans, the old expression, "mad as a hatter" refers to the fact that felt hat bands used to contain mercury, which would cause neurological damage after enough exposure had occurred. Mercury enters the body through a vapor that is given off by affected fillings. This gas is absorbed by the bloodstream, then the brain and then the organs. Nordin-Evans explained that a pregnant mother can even pass mercury contamination onto her developing baby.
As one of Massachusetts' first mercury recovery clinics, Groton Wellness is equipped to cleanse the mouth of toxins and "re-establish a state of wellness." Groton Wellness uses only nontoxic materials. They also employ electro-dermal screening, homeopathy, nutritional and detoxification therapies, acupressure and massage to support general wellness as a part of health-focused dentistry. The goal is to bring the entire body, beginning with the mouth, to a healthy balance.
Though the word is spreading, most of the patients at Groton Wellness come from some distance, including the greater Boston area and Martha's Vineyard.
Groton Wellness wants patients to look forward to visits. They offer a Dental Dream Day, which includes teeth cleaning (or other treatment), a warm neck wrap, warm blanket, paraffin wax hand treatment, headphones with a choice of music and a healthy lunch at the bistro. In addition, patients can choose between a massage, holistic facial, clay bath, colonic treatment, Reiki or a cranio-sacral treatment. Clearly, this is not your average dental practice. Though the dental practice started everything, it is supported by the rest of the Groton Wellness Team: medical, spa and cafe.
The medical staff at Groton Wellness includes: Dr. Sarika Arora, MD, and Dr. Joshua Lloyd, ND (naturopathic doctor). Two RNs and an herbalist are also part of the medical staff.
In addition to orthodox medical care, holistic services include functional medicine, bioidentical hormone balance, naturopathic medicine, nutrition services, breast thermography, acupuncture, manual lymph drainage, colon hydrotherapy, IV vitamin C, weight loss support, detoxification/chelation, blood work and general medical care, education and prevention.
Groton Wellness has a fully staffed spa, including an acupuncturist, two aestheticians -- one of whom is also a colon hydro therapist -- four massage therapists and one ondamed provider on board.
Groton Wellness offers treatment in massage therapy, lymphatic draining massage, reiki, holistic esthetics, colon hydro therapy, therapeutic clay baths, magnesium/epson salt baths, far infrared saunas, thermal jade massage bed and cranio-sacral therapy, all in the beautiful and peaceful setting of this one-of-a-kind spa.
After all of this wellness treatment, patients can join hungry patrons at the Groton Wellness Farm to Table Cafe. With the motto "Local. Fresh. Organic. Made with Love," it has to be good. Local foods chef Paul Callahan and natural foods chef Karen Zimmerman use no refined flours or sugars in preparing their menu and follow Hippocrates' words of wisdom, "Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food." They also offer cooking classes, which are posted on at grotonwellness.com. Ongoing monthly seminars are available on bioidentical hormones, holistic dentistry, naturopathic medicine, Lyme disease and a practitioner breakfast.
Evans and Nordin-Evans will be launching a youth camp this summer with a culinary and agricultural theme. Camp will be based at their family farm and the Wellness Center, with programs for kids age 5 to 17.
The Evanses homeschool their three children, ages 9, 7, and 4, and promote as much art, nature and music into their curriculum as possible. They are avid readers who also enjoy skiing, boating and hiking.
The best advertisement for their approach to wellness is evident in their full, productive and happy life.