Alternative, complementary and holistic healthcare in Edina

Local faces and places promote alternative and holistic healthcare.
Victoria Downey finds wellness at the Salt Caves.

Edinans are increasingly interested in holistic healthcare, and for good reason. Alternative methods focus on enhancing the body’s natural capacity to heal instead of the traditional approach, which is to simply treat disease. The idea is to engage in intelligent prevention rather than suddenly landing in the hospital with a bad case of cooties. Our town boasts numerous alternative therapies that heal, soothe and enhance the quality of life. We found four distinctive holistic healthcare establishments and spoke with the inspiring people who created them.



Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing system; community acupuncture refers to group treatment with a sliding pay scale. According to owner Kerry Casey, Minnesota Community Acupuncture has given more than 41,000 treatments.

How does community acupuncture work?

We have a room with 16 La-Z-Boy recliners where people relax. They keep their clothes on and we only put the needles in the hands, arms and feet.

What is different about your style of acupuncture?

We do not put the needles directly into the source of pain. Think of it like an overhead light: You don’t need to climb up a ladder to turn it off; you use a light switch on the wall. It’s the same principle with the nervous system. 

Why community acupuncture?

We can accommodate many people at a time, which means we can set the price as low as $15 to $40 per session. It’s up to the guest how much to pay. Traditional acupuncture—one person, one room—can cost $60 to $150 a session. 



Salt therapy has been around for centuries, primarily as a treatment for asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments. Scott Wertkin, an owner of the newly opened Salt Cave, first visited a salt cave while on vacation in Florida, and he and his wife were inspired to bring the experience to Minnesota.

Tell us about the salt cave space.

The walls and floor are made from six-plus tons of Himalayan salt, and the air in the cave is treated by a halogenerator, which infuses the air with a dry aerosol of pharmaceutical-grade salt. I chose the pink salt because it’s beautiful and I liked the idea of warm tones for the Minnesota winters. I also love to cook, and it’s my favorite cooking salt.

What does a session look like?

Visitors spend 45 minutes in a comfortable zero-gravity recliner. Group sessions might include yoga/meditation or storytelling for kids. The floor is heated and people can sit directly on the salt if they want.

What distinguishes halotherapy from other holistic treatments?

It’s completely non-invasive, and it’s fun. Not many people think of the word “fun” in conjunction with the word “treatment.” It’s affordable, at only $30 a session, and there are packages available for additional savings.


Annika Meehan, owner of the Equilibrium Wellness Center, believes we have reached a new health care paradigm: lifestyle medicine. Her center offers a variety of services including acupuncture, diet modifications, facial rejuvenation, nutrition, herbal medicine and detoxification.

What is your definition of alternative health care? 

I prefer the term complementary alternative medicine (CAM). We need both conventional Western medicine and alternative medicine. Complementary medicine focuses on prevention, maintaining and regaining health by treating the whole person—mind, body and spirit. 

Alternative health care has a reputation for being expensive. How can people afford alternative care?

To be healthy is invaluable. It can and does require daily attention, but it does not have to be expensive; knowing what choices to make is imperative to good health.

What would you like people to know about your business?

We integrate acupuncture, phytonutrients, herbal medicine and nutritional counseling based on lifestyle medicine. EWC uses a non-invasive East-meets-West medical approach to not only treat the issue, but to determine the cause so that it can be prevented in the future. We address everything from back pain to hot flashes.


The Chiropractic Health and Wellness center’s goal for patients is “to move well, to eat well and to think well.” Chiropractic care reduces stress on the system, allowing the body to adapt to the stressors that lead to disease. Tim Fargo bases his practice on his personal health care philosophy.

What is your health care philosophy?

People are under the delusion that disease is a result of bad genes, bad germs and bad luck, but in fact most are diseases of lifestyle. The prevention of disease happens by way of the creation of health.  

What should a potential patient know about your practice?

We tailor the program to your specific needs. I expect results. If I need to come to your house, I’ll be over with my portable table. If I can’t help you, I will find someone who can help.

What is the future of alternative health care?

Education; it’s a big part of our mission. I’m passionate about mentorship. We want to enlighten clients and change fundamental belief structures. We need to create a patient care model that works.