Health and Wellness Programs | Wellness Institute - Bluffton

Education and Support Programs

Screens to establish baseline data and the establishment of goals on how to get to better health. Health screens include but not limited to: allergies, medication review, cardiovascular assessment, blood profile, lipid profile, metabolic testing for fitness assessment, etc. This allows early intervention strategies to be formed for better overall health with the goal of reducing health care costs for NR and improved moral.

Medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight. Obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable death and obesity-related conditions which include heart disease, stroke, type II diabetes and certain types of cancer. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese and the estimated annual medical cost of obesity in the U.S. was $190 billion or 27% of the total health care costs. Lost productivity costs employers $164 billion annually and $6.4 billion is loss due to absenteeism. Since 1988 the prevalence of obesity increased in adults at all income and education levels.

Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim over 393,000 American lives each year and cost the United States over $193 billion in 2004, including $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures, or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker. The benefits of stopping smoking starts almost immediately!

  • 20 minutes: blood pressure and pulse rate decrease
  • 1 day: risk of sudden heart attack decreases
  • 2 days: smell and taste begin to improve
  • 2 weeks to 3 months: progressive improvement in lung function and circulation
  • 1 month to 9 months: Shortness of breath, sinus congestion, coughing and fatigue steadily improve
  • 1 year: the risk of coronary heart disease has halved
  • 5 years: the risk of lung cancer has decreased 50% compared to a one pack a day smoker

Heart disease and stroke, the first and third leading causes of death for men and women, are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing our nation today, yet they also are among the most preventable. Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, account for more than one-third (33.6%) of all U.S. deaths. In 2007, of all Americans who died of cardiovascular diseases, 150,000 were younger than age 65. Heart disease and stroke also are among the leading causes of disability in the United States, with nearly 4 million people reporting disability from these causes. In 2010, the total costs of cardiovascular diseases in the United States were estimated to be $444 billion. Treatment of these diseases accounts for about $1 of every $6 spent on health care in this country. Although the overall death rates for heart disease and stroke have decreased in the United States in recent decades the rates for incidence and death continue to be high, especially among some populations, including members of certain racial and ethnic groups, people with low socioeconomic status, and those living in the southeastern United States. Age-adjusted death rates for cardiovascular disease are 37% higher among African Americans than among whites. The risk of having a first-ever stroke is nearly two times higher among African Americans than among whites. In addition, about 55,000 more women than men have a stroke each year. For this reason we have made it a priority at the Wellness Institute to provide programs to address this critical issue.

Community Outreach

Education seminars for public including sourcing of speakers and free general health seminars

Including cultural, sporting and community events

Training and Conditioning

3D computer analysis of swing mechanics ($150) by appointment which can be expanded to neuromusculoskeletal screen (FREE), physical therapy referral ($80), golf specific strength, flexibility and conditioning program ($50/hr). Titleist has a golf certification and we can become an approved training center. Includes 3D golf analysis videos to improve swing mechanics and provide programs to improve the game from both a physiologic and technical standpoint.

Is a dynamic, professionally supervised exercise program developed to return neuromuscular control to joint and muscles along with progressing the individual beyond his or her present level of fitness or disability. The program emphasizes strength, balance, coordination, and mobility with the goals of improving sports performance and quality of life. It helps those with current medical issues to enjoy safe and effective exercise protocols in a nurturing and caring environment.

Qualified, professional Exercise Specialists with advanced expertise in physical therapy, manual therapy, athletic training and exercise science will evaluate, design and implement a specialized exercise program based on individual needs with the goal of developing and improving confidence, strength, movement, balance and overall body awareness and fitness.

Healthy Back Program

Preventative rehabilitation classes held twice-weekly for core strengthening.

In the United States low back pain (LBP) affects roughly 10 million people per day. The one-year prevalence rate for LBP can be as high as 63%, with the highest incidence occurring between the ages of 40 – 60 years. A lifetime prevalence of between 84% and 89% is reported in the literature and 59% of those afflicted with LBP will seek medical attention from a physician. LBP is the leading cause of work absence and activity limitation with only one in three cases resolving completely after one year. The direct and indirect costs from the associated work absence are considerable. Of those experiencing LBP, the origin often remains unclear and frequently no specific diagnosis can be made. The socioeconomic cost to the economy is significant and is on the rise; in the U.S., the cost of LBP exceeds $100 billion annually with a significant portion of indirect costs attributed to lost wages and loss of productivity.

Healthy neck Program

There are many causes of neck pain. These causes include muscle strains due to overuse or poor posture, worn joints from arthritic changes, nerve compression due to herniated discs and bone spurs, and injuries such as whiplash. Our classes guide you through exercises that will restore muscle function, optimize posture to prevent muscle overload, and increase strength and endurance of your neck muscles.

Rotator Cuff Protection & Surgery Prevention Program

Rotator cuff issues are the most common cause of shoulder pain. Many rotator cuff disorders do not always involve a trauma or an injury. Rotator cuff injuries occur most often in people who perform overhead motions repeatedly either in jobs such as painting or construction, or in sports such as tennis or golf. Additionally, you are at a greater risk of injury to the rotator cuff as you age. Physical therapy is a very effective way to recover from rotator cuff injuries and to decrease the need for potential surgery. In this class we will teach you exercises that improve flexibility and strength of the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. This is a program that will promote balance of the critical shoulder muscles and stabilization of the scapular foundation muscles; held twice-weekly.

Knee Protection and Proprioception Program

Do you suffer from chronic knee pain? Do you have arthritis? Do you have weakness in the muscles surrounding your knees? Studies have shown that appropriate exercises that strengthen and protect a joint will lessen the impact of arthritis and improve your function. In this class, you will be instructed in a supervised program that will focus on increasing quad strength to help protect and preserve your knee joint.

What to expect when you attend our Classes

  • All classes are held on site
  • The classes will be hands on and interactive so come dressed casually and comfortably so that you can more fully participate
  • All exercises will be appropriate to your individual level

What you will learn

  • The focus will be to educate you about your anatomy, terminology of diagnosis, and explanation of the injury, aging and healing process.
  • To provide you with more information to assist you in understanding your diagnosis and discussing your diagnosis with your doctor
  • To educate you on appropriate exercises to best address your condition and to promote safe return to activities and work, and to promote long term care and management of your condition.

Education and program development.

In addition to physical therapy and rehabilitative services, we offer highly qualified personal training sessions. Personal training can be an integral way of maximizing your fitness goals while minimizing your risk of injuries. Each session is a one on one session with a certified personal trainer or licensed therapist whom will create and walk you through a personalized program that will assist you in achieving a higher level of physical fitness in a safe and exciting work out environment. We will strive to ensure that the education you receive here through these sessions will translate into an effective and safe program for you to continue in your home or own community gym.

Transitional training for those that do not need immediate care but are not able to join a community gym or able to exercise independently—the intermediate program (that may be extended to be available to customers of New River Auto Mall and general public if space allows). Cost: Gym Program advice – $25; Intermediate Program: $50/hr

The Running Club will offer short distance runs 1-2x per week at the Wellness Institute. Additional group run activities will occur in conjunction with the Palmetto Running Company. This group is open to runners/walkers of all experiences and levels. Locations and times will vary and will be posted by the Palmetto Running Company. Please see our website under events for upcoming Running Club activities on site or for weekend group run information . Cost: Free


Yoga has become increasingly popular and offers many benefits for the health of our bodies, minds and souls. Yoga encompasses fitness, wellness, mental and emotional health, and aids in disease prevention. Yoga offers a true immersion into your physical and mental self. The unique blend of yoga traditions and philosophies emphasize the flow of energy while moving with strength and grace from pose to pose, all in a heated environment. Both aspiring and advanced yogis, young and old, can modify each posture and create their own individual experience. The result is a yoga practice that refreshes and detoxifies the mind and body, while building strength and flexibility on and off the mat.

If you are not sure if yoga is for you, please try a class in our friendly and comfortable Studio! Our classes are limited in size so our instructors are able to provide individualized attention. Or try a private session, which will be designed for your specific needs!

Additional benefits of practicing yoga are:

  • Learning how to relax and meditate
  • posture correction
  • Increased body flexibility, strength and balance
  • joint pain relief
  • Stimulation of internal organs for optimal function
  • improved breathing
  • Reverse the stiffening-up process due to inactivity
  • stimulate circulation

Plus, Yoga is helpful with modern day illnesses and disorders like asthma, arthritis, headaches, depression, heart problems, diabetes, menstrual disorders, insomnia, obesity, osteoporosis, varicose veins, indigestion and other digestive, reproductive and respiratory problems.

Contact us today!


Almost all of our classes are appropriate for all levels. We suggest trying a Basics, Gentle, Restorative or an All Levels flow. Please let the teacher know that you are new. As with all levels, we encourage you as a beginner to pace yourself and to listen to, and trust, your body. If it feels bad, stop. In time you’ll build strength, focus, stamina and flexibility.

Nothing! You can always sign up for your first class online and let us know you are coming, otherwise, just arrive early (10 minutes is fine) and sign in.

Wear comfortable clothes that will move with you and avoid overly baggy tees that tend to fall over your head when you bend over, and overly tight clothes that won’t let you bend over. Dressing in layers is always a good idea. Avoid heavy sweats.

The only thing you have to bring is an open mind and a healthy attitude. Bring a yoga mat if you have one. We have limited mats available for your use in the studio if you are a beginner or forget yours. If you are attending a Hot Yoga class, you will need to either buy or bring a mat. You may want to bring a towel and a water bottle — we have filtered water available.

We encourage you to leave competition and ego behind—the goal is to learn to listen to your body. Classes are fun and are more focused on transformation and growth. We will help you to find your own natural positive self.

The general rule is that it is best to avoid heavy meals for at least two hours before class. Some people prefer a completely empty stomach, and others prefer a light snack, such as fruit or a granola bar an hour before practice. If you are attending a HOT class, please avoid heavy meals and drink plenty of water.

That is up to you. You always control the intensity of your practice and we encourage you to work at your own pace in every class. You’ll find that some days your practice will seem easy and some days more difficult. Just go with the flow and challenge yourself slowly.

Consistency is the key to experiencing the full benefits of the yoga practice… and to making new yoga friends.! Whether you practice at home or in the studio, a daily practice, even a 20 minute daily practice, is a good and lofty goal.

Sweat cleanses both the body and mind. Our classes are not Bikram classes. We offer moderately heated classes, to encourage opening and detoxification of the body and the mind and are heated to around 85-90 degrees to allow you to safely achieve serious sweat and deep release. If you like it hotter, you can grab a space heater. Our other classes are usually kept in the mid to upper 70s with the exception of prenatal classes.

YES! Yoga offers the combination of strength and cardiovascular exercise, and the heat also helps to raise the core body temperature to a level that helps regulate metabolism and appetite. Additionally, studies have shown that yoga’s stress-busting benefits help you stay committed to good nutrition and fitness habits.

In most cases yoga is WONDERFUL for pregnancy but it would be prudent to clear it with your physician in case of any contraindications for your specific case. During pregnancy, yoga can help strengthen body and mind for labor, as well as ease nausea, back pain and swelling. We offer prenatal classes, as well as Gentle and Restorative classes that are thoroughly appropriate for pregnancy. Unless you have an existing yoga practice, some of the more dynamic classes should be avoided.

At the end of each class, our teachers offer the ancient Sanskrit word “namaste” as a symbol of gratitude, respect and connection. Students answer with “namaste” in the same spirit. This exchange allows us all to come together energetically to a place of connection and timelessness. A short translation is: “The Light in me sees the Light in you, and all I can do is bow.”

  • Cyclists – develop core strength and full body flexibility for increased efficiency. open the hip flexors that are used so much in cycling.
  • Runners – prevent injuries through hip and hamstring flexibility and develop mental stamina, as well as keeping the hip flexors open and strong, allowing for more efficient running.
  • Swimmers – protect shoulder joints and optimize breathing patterns, as well as strengthen the back and joints.
  • Golfers – develop fluid, integrated strength and sharpen focus, as well as increase rotational ability and release neck and shoulder tension
  • Tennis/racquetball players – release neck and shoulder tension and increase rotational ability
  • Equestrians – improve balance and core stabilization


Benefits of Yoga


  • Positive outlook, an over-all feeling of well-being
  • Improves self-body-image
  • Accelerates weight loss through increased metabolic rate
  • Decreases blood pressure and resting heart rate
  • Decreases cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Cleanses and detoxifies vital organs, slowing the aging process
  • Bolsters immunity
  • Improves digestion
  • Improves sleep quality and duration
  • Slower pulse rate
  • Improved circulation
  • Decreased respiratory rate
  • Increased social skills, feeling of community

Mental/emotional health

  • Reduces stress, tension and anxiety
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Improves mood
  • Improves focus
  • Encourages a state of mental calm
  • Improves mood; increased sense of well-being
  • Reduces anxiety.
  • Evokes self-acceptance
  • Improves self-control
  • Establishes an improved mind-body connection, a heightened sense of awareness
  • Increased attention
  • Ability to be in the moment


  •  Tones the muscles
  • Tones the organs
  • Increases strength
  • Increases flexibility and range of motion
  • Stretches the joints, ligaments and tendons
  • Increases cardiovascular endurance
  • Increases core strength for more integrated movement
  • Improves balance and coordination
  • Improves posture and body awareness
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Balances metabolism
  • Increases proprioception and coordination
  • Improved depth perception

Disease prevention and relief

  • Protects against osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Relieves chronic headaches and migraines
  • Slows the progression of Alzheimer’s
  • Slows the progression of Type II Diabetes
  • Alleviates the symptoms of asthma
  • Alleviates the symptoms of allergies
  • Relieves arthritis symptoms
  • Relieves back pain
  • Improves bowel function
  • Relieves symptoms of menopause
  • Relieves symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Relieves symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy
  • Relieves symptoms of sciatica

Rehabilitative Services

Rehabilitative Services Overview:

Here in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton area we have a unique population—people are more proactive about their health and want to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. To meet this expectation we need a different style of rehabilitation, the Wellness Institute offers this. This is how:

Pre-rehabilitation Educational classes
A cost effective approach addressing problems areas such as the neck, back and knees through educational classes that help you stay healthy and strong. These classes will also help you decrease the potential for pain and other medical issues that can make rehabilitation more expensive and timely. We maximize your potential while taking your medical issues into consideration.

A unique orthopedically manual therapy based program that has shown to be more effective than exercise based physical therapy alone. This is provided by licensed therapy staff in a outpatient clinical setting.

Return to Sport Rehabilitation
Innovative on site return to sporting activity programs with medically supervised and professional staff. We have an indoor golf analysis driving range to assess biomechanical errors that could lead to potential injuries and reduced activity levels. For tennis enthusiasts we have an indoor half tennis court to analyze and correct serve, volley and stroke mechanics. For runners we offer video analysis of running mechanics to avoid injuries, and we will be offering free running clinics to help patients transition back into running. For our soccer playing community we have a high performance seamless surface that is protective and ideal for rehabilitation of injuries— it provides optimum slide and slip resistance, an ideal environment for the development of soccer skills during the return to sport phase of rehabilitation. Baseball and softball players are catered for with video analysis of throwing mechanics eliminating deficiencies and poor form.

Holistic whole body emphasis
Too often treatment will just focus only on an individual medical issue. We, however, believe a holistic and systemic approach to evaluating and addressing your pain and limitations due to this pain is very important. So, in addition to rehabilitation, we are offering a range of professionally selected supportive programs to assist you in leading healthier, happier, more productive lifestyles. These services include nutritional coaching, yoga and personal training.

Extensive community education programs
Our facility offers monthly free onsite educational programs and free injury screens for musculoskeletal injuries.

What we treat

  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Neurological conditions (i.e. stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s)
  • Sports injuries
  • Spinal conditions
  • Cardiac conditions
  • Cancer-related issues
  • Chronic pain syndrome
  • Postural issues
  • Pre and post pregnancy
  • Post Rehabilitation

Specialty Treatment Techniques

  • Orthopedic rehabilitation
  • Spine Rehabilitation (Manual Therapy) for back and neck issues
  • Sport specific Rehabilitation
  • Pain Management (dry needling)
  • Pediatrics
  • Osteoporosis-Sara Meeks Walk Tall Program

What to Expect from Rehabilitation:

To make an appointment

  • Pre-rehabilitation, Return to Sports, Holistic services: Please contact our facilities for more information regarding scheduling and cost of these services.
  • Physical therapy Evaluations: Most often, your physician will recommend therapy and will provide you with a referral or prescription for services. If you receive one from a physician, call you can our office and set up an initial appointment. Our policy is to make every effort to schedule your first appointment within 72 hours of your call.
  • Direct Access: In South Carolina you are entitled to see your physical therapist without a referral. We, naturally, want to foster relationships with our physicians and will contact them after the initial evaluation to keep them updated on your health status. If not appropriate for physical therapy we will refer you to your physician for a medical work up. Often you can call your physician and let them know that you intend to go to therapy for an issue that you have been successfully treated for in the past. Open communication with our physicians is key.

Insurance Coverage for Physical Therapy Evaluations/Treatment
Rehabilitation services are recognized as necessary medical procedures and are therefore covered by most insurance companies. Our insurance department will obtain this information for you when you call for your appointment. In South Carolina state law allows for services for PT to be provided by certified PT without physician referral. Some insurance will cover this, and some will not. This can be clarified when you call.

Your benefits will be explained to you by your second visit. We also offer cash based payment option for patients that prefer to pay out of pocket instead of utilizing their insurance benefits. Please contact us for self-pay rates.

New River Auto Mall Employees and Families
If you are a member of the New River Auto Mall family (an employee or employee family member), please inform the front desk. We strive to serve the NRAM family as quickly and efficiently as possible. You will also be informed regarding your benefits as being a member of the NRAM family.

Your first appointment
We ask that you arrive 15 minutes early to complete any necessary paperwork. We also encourage you to dress comfortably. You will be treated by a licensed therapist who will perform a thorough therapy evaluation. Your first visit will usually take 45-60 minutes. If you have any copies of x-ray reports, MRI reports, or other tests, please bring those with you.

The Professionals that will be working with you
All services will be rendered by licensed physical therapists and physical therapists assistants. You will remain under the care of your initial PT who will also be assisted by a PTA. Our PTAs work closely with our PTs and provide care under the guidance of your PT. At our clinic, we also use PT aides. Their role is to assist the PT’s and PTAs to keep our clinic more efficient and to keep your time in the clinic more comfortable.

Therapy Frequency
Most patients receive therapy service for 2 to 3 times per week for approximately 6 weeks. We perform re-evaluations every 30 days to re-assess your need for further therapy treatment and to update your treatment plans.

After Therapy
In our facility, we are able to offer many opportunities for you to progress and transition safely back into the activities you love such as golf, tennis, yoga, running, and general gym programs. Before you are discharged, we will be discussing the various services we offer to help you make that transition safely and fully.