Editorial: New health guide offers a peek into our bounty

Thumb through the Health & Wellness Guide tucked into The Beachcomber this week — and consider how lucky we are to live on Vashon, where health practitioners of every stripe abound.

We have physical therapists and chiropractors, physicians and naturopaths, personal trainers and therapists. There’s a section on end-of-life services, where the Threshold Choir — a homegrown group — is described. And another about services for new parents, an area of expertise that Vashon Youth & Family Services dominates.

Acupuncturists practice here. Nutritionists offer up services. And if you need a massage — well, gee, just walk out your door.

Vashon doesn’t have everything, of course. Medical specialists are in short supply. Hospitals might be a helicoptor-ride away. And our largest medical clinic, Vashon Health Center, struggles with the adequacy of its facility, a former military barracks a few miles south of town.

Still, for a community of 11,000 people, we’ve got a lot of choices, thanks to the commitment and creativity of a wide range of professionals. After spending weeks putting together the guide, we at The Beachcomber have a greater appreciation for the depth and breadth of what’s available here. We consider ourselves lucky.

This is The Beachcomber’s third such guide, and we hope it will provide a resource for Islanders. Save it. It has a lot of shelf life. But in the event you lose it, you will find its pages posted as PDFs on our Web site — vashonbeachcomber.com.

Know, too, that it’s not meant as an endorsement of any particular practitioner or modality. The entries, lightly edited, were written by the practitioners. They did not pay to be included. Susan Riemer, the guide’s editor, reached out to those practitioners who didn’t submit an entry, but it’s possible some practitioners have been left out. If so, we apologize.

Our thanks go to the advertisers who supported the guide, particularly its sponsor, the Vashon Health Center. We also want to pay tribute to Riemer, a staff writer here who, on top of her many other duties, poured countless hours into the project, tracking down practitioners, editing their entries, organizing the information.

It was a daunting task, in part because of how much Vashon has to offer. We hope she finds time to get a massage this week.

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