Arianna Berkowitz worked for a decade as a physical therapist before realizing she wanted something more: a more comprehensive, less corporate approach to healing her clients. So she quit her job to get a degree in acupuncture, opened her own clinic and is now well on her way to achieving that dream.
BodyWise Physical Therapy and Wellness opened in Columbia in 2009 as a one-woman clinic, with Berkowitz offering physical therapy and acupuncture. Today, it includes four physical therapists, two acupuncturists and four aides, and also offers massage therapy.
Eventually, Berkowitz hopes to add nutritional counseling, yoga and some other traditional Eastern healing arts.
“My dream has always been to have a center for healing, with many different disciplines,” says Berkowitz. “We’re definitely going in the direction I want.”
Besides offering a variety of complementary services, Berkowitz strives for a noncorporate vibe, different from what she found while working elsewhere.
“So many physical therapy clinics are like factories, with not a lot of hands-on, one-on-one time,” she says. “I think we have very good, very skilled people who allow plenty of time for a good session. We’re not just pumping them in and pumping them out.”
Adds husband Matthew Berkowitz, who runs the business side of the operation, “She takes a holistic approach — treats the person, not the symptoms. … She can treat people the way she wants to treat them.”