written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Ryan Diener grew up in Baltimore County with “big forty to forty-five persons Thanksgivings over there” with his family. He attended Elementary, Middle and High Schools in Baltimore and was active in a lot of sports.
He went on to attend the University of Maryland with a pre-med major but he wasn’t sure of where he was going. “There was something about going into the medical field that wasn’t quite catching me.
“I think it was because I grew up with an Aunt who was really into some alternative things. Growing up, I was introduced to things like meditation, astrology and some other things that kind of opened my mind in a different way.”
Still questioning what he wanted to do at the end of college, he did internships with physical therapists, chiropractors, podiatrists and doctors. “Nothing really grabbed me.”
Then he read a book on acupuncture — in two days! “I just completely fell in love with it. I signed up for acupuncture school before I even had a session. I just knew it was the thing for me.”
After first spending a year bartending in Spain, Ryan enrolled in a four-year Graduate Program. His career choice was solidified when he consulted with “this old Chinese guy that became one of my favorite teachers in school” for a persistent skin condition that he had been battling for years.
He got acupuncture treatments twice each week for two months. “And, I was drinking this herbal formula that tasted like mud water. By the end of those two months, it was like I’d never had it. At that point, I was all in!”
In addition to earning an M.S. Degree in Oriental Medicine, Ryan completed an apprenticeship in Acupuncture and Herbology. But he soon discovered that there weren’t any jobs in his chosen field.
“You get trained in a very particular skill. All you really want to do is help people as best you can. Then you get out and you really have to start your own business. It’s challenging. You have to really dig in, work hard and figure out how you’re going to do both.”
Driving through the Frederick area with a friend, Ryan fell in love with Downtown. He knew it was where he wanted to establish his practice. Within a few phone calls, he had secured his first office space.
He then met his future business partner, Denise Ordonio, a certified Massage Therapist. They teamed up to form Holistic Health Associates in 2005. It’s currently supporting eleven practitioners and an administrative team of eight.
What You Can Expect From A Visit To Frederick’s Holistic Health Associates
1. Getting To Know You
“We really need to know what makes you tick. What drives you? What are your joys? What do you like to eat? What do you like to do? What makes you happy?”
2. There’s More In Store Than Treating The Reason For Your Visit
“We want to clear your pain or help your autoimmune condition.” But they also want to build a connection and create trust “that doesn’t exist if you just tell somebody what they should be doing.”
3. Delving Into Root Causes
“Health and Wellness is not some big secret. You can go on the internet and figure out what diet you should eat and what exercise program you should do or how to reduce your stress. Those things are not that challenging.
“But for some reason, we have these kinds of blocks that we need to break free of. It could be not letting go of our past. It could be focusing too much on the future. It could be that you have a genetic predisposition to something.
“It could be that you have a certain sensitivity to a food that’s creating a pain. It could be an old injury that’s created a pain. There are so many things that we really need to dig in and get to the root of.”
4. Tell Us What’s Working For You Now
“We want to take what is already happening and we want to layer into that. We want to enhance that. The good things are going to crowd out the bad things.
“If we’re bringing in an additional layer of herbs — or an additional layer of nutritional advice, a needle, hand work that’s going to help break something up — we want to know whats worked for you in the past and why isn’t it working now.
5. We Can Help To Tailor A Formula For You
“There’s a huge range of effectiveness when it comes to supplementation. We can not only work on some existing conditions but prevent some things that might run in your family.”
6. Guidance Towards The Right Path
“We work with doctors all the time. We have a list of people we can send you to who are at the top of their field in the area.. Our goal is to get the patient to the best place that they can be, to elevate their health, to energize their lifestyle — we want you to feel like this is just an amazing gift..to be alive.”
Combining Entrepreneurship With Holistic Medicine
“There’s kind of an expectation that people who are in the health and wellness space need to be really reserved, can’t be active and have to rest all the time. There’s a part of me that has that, too.
“But, I think there’s another side of the human spirit. This kind of evolutionary, exciting, energized side. I want to be able to experience both. I want everybody to be able to experience both.
“I think it’s important to get into the space of your life where you can experience all aspects of who you are.”
Ryan credits his father for demonstrating a strong work ethic with long hours and a good disposition. “It was like he was on cloud nine all the time. He was the happiest guy you could imagine.”
The lesson? “Hard work doesn’t equal pain. It equals a lot of success and it equals a lot of benefit if you look at it that way. It’s all about your perspective.”
The Biggest Challenge Of Growing Holistic Health Associates
“Patience. It kind of sounds funny being that I’m spending time meditating, doing yoga and these things and kind of slowing my mind down a lot.
“But, I just think we have such an amazing potential and opportunity to have an impact on the health care system if enough of us get together and are able to share these kinds of gifts with the community and the community at-large.
“The vision of our center is a daily reminder of how far we want to go and how far we want to be able to take filling this gap in the health care system.”
The Advice That Ryan Would Give Himself If He Could Start Over
“Don’t be afraid to let go of things if they’re not working. In the end, it’s going to save you a lot of time. That would affect how much my patience is not tested.”
Ryan Knows Holistic Health Is Making A Huge Difference
“A practitioner in town who had been working for twenty years called me up and said that she wanted to come work for us. We didn’t really have a lot of employees at that time.
She said, “You guys have the reputation of getting results with people and giving the highest quality care with a lot of integrity.” At that point, Holistic Health Associates had been incorporated for three years and all Ryan saw was the holes.
“It woke me up to the potential that we had since — with all these holes in the business — we were still doing amazing work. That was different than a patient who says “Wow, you changed my life.”
“We have tons of those. Believe me. But this was just a different situation that hit me in a different way.”
Ryan Recommends Two Apps That Make Life Easier
“Evernote. I use Evernote in a variety of ways. I keep notes about what I need to do for business and what I need to do on the personal side. I’ve got a list of gifts my wife likes because I can’t remember them all. I’ve got a list of things that my staff likes. I have a list of restaurants in different cities that I’ve been to that I like.”
“I also love Audible. Finding time to read these days is so hard. I’ve got about a thousand-page book that I’m listening to that’s going faster than the 300-page book that I’m reading. I always read one and listen to one at the same time.”
A Quote By A Modern-Day Philosopher
[“Waking up your true self is the process of making the unconscious conscious.”] by Ken Wilber.
“What you’re waking up to are the things that we avoid — the things that we’re afraid of —the things we just don’t want to see or that we’re not able to see.
“Just go for it. Just live your life and love it. I’ve learned more from trying to think of what I don’t know that I have from telling people what I already do know.”
Want to know if your insurance covers acupuncture? “Give us a call. We will check your insurance benefits before you even walk in the door. You do not even have to come in for an appointment to find out if you get coverage for acupuncture.
“You do have to come in to get massaged,” says Ryan, “because we have to be able to touch ya. But, at least we can get you a quote and find out if you have insurance coverage before you come in the door.”
Why wait? Give a call right now!
Holistic Health Associates
603-B W. Patrick St.
Frederick, MD 21701
Content Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #095: Eric Verdi Interviews Ryan Diener