WAXAHACHIE — In a healthy balance of well-being, two new businesses are expanding the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce network of healthcare outlets to serve the mind and body of Ellis County residents.

“Since 1914, Waxahachie has been very lucky to have an incredible healthcare provider in Baylor Scott and White Hospital,” explained Sandy King, Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce CFO. “Since Baylor built their new 300,000 square feet facility a few years ago, we have seen a surge in a variety of new healthcare facilities choosing Waxahachie as their home.”

“Just in the last three years, we have welcomed a wide variety of specialty clinics from dental surgeons, to emergency clinics, pain clinics, specialty therapy clinics and even a Cryotherapy provider,” she noted. “These businesses coming to Waxahachie is a tremendous benefit to our economy. We are attracting young professionals who want to make their homes here and raise their children here - that is a win for Waxahachie.”

Now nesting their businesses in the Gingerbread City is Rebecca Green, owner of Green Counseling and Play Therapy Center, and John Zabojnik, owner of Texas Cryoworks and Wellness.

Operating in what seems to be dislocated fields of fitness, both owners understand the needs of their community and connect with one thing: helping people.

BECOMING WHOLE

Opening Aug. 1 with a Chamber ribbon cutting, Green Counseling and Play Therapy Center is located on Ferris Avenue in the nook of the Ferris Plaza shopping strip.

“I had been a school counselor for years, and during that time I did some private practice work part-time,” Green began. “Opening my own practice was something I thought about for about 12 years. Well, last spring I just really felt like it was time and this is where my heart was, and that the time to do this is now.”

Previously working with Life Schools in Waxahachie and Red Oak, as well as in Ferris ISD, Green saw a more desperate need outside the walls of education.

“I just know that in schools I see kids every day that they need so much more than they can get through school counseling,” Green acknowledged. “I always had parents asking, ‘Where can I take my kids? Who should I go to?’ and it’s tough if they’re young kids to find a play therapist to send them to, and I knew I could help with that.”

Being a licensed professional counselor and a registered play therapist with over 20 years of experience, Green’s full-service counseling center also provides family and marriage counseling, as well as adult counseling and group therapy for school-age children.

“The moment I walked into Green Counseling I was taken aback with the play therapy center,” King expressed. “Even though they treat all ages, the fact that they have invested so much in the therapy of the children was impressive to me.”

“With the play therapy center, the children can feel welcomed and comfortable, and I have no doubt they get a more effective, helpful result for these babies,” she expounded.

According to the United State Association for Play Therapy, the treatment is a structured, theoretically based approach to therapy that builds on the normal communicative and learning processes of children.

“Play therapy depends on the age of a child,” Green emphasized. “It looks different for a three-year-old than it does for a teenager. Because children don’t have the vocabulary to know what’s going on with their issues, they need a way to show their feelings and experiences, and they can work through them through play.”

As children age, Green explains that play therapy can also assist teenagers to bypass rehearsed responses, and help them process issues in a more productive way.

Specializing in cases of anger, anxiety, attention-deficit disorders, coping skills, divorce, depression, trauma, and much more, there was one area Green underestimated when opening.

“One of the areas I didn’t anticipate as a big need was with parents who are looking for help with their special needs children,” Green recognized. “I’ve gotten a lot of experience through the school setting with students who need counseling but also have autism, emotional disturbances, or learning disabilities, so they’re not able to fully participate as a typical child would at their age.”

“Kids with disabilities still have all the same life struggles and traumas as they grow up, it’s just harder for them to deal with it. So I’m able to meet them where they’re at and help them walk through it,” she added.

STAY STRONG, LIVE LONG

While Green is strengthening the mental health of Waxahachie on one side of US Highway 287, Texas Cyroworks and Wellness is working on the physical aspect on the other. The new business focuses on a physical-recovery technology called Cryotherapy.

“So last year there was a triathlon in Texas, and there’s only five of them in the world, so I was training for that, and that's when I discovered Cryotherapy,” Zabojnik recalled his first encounter with the cooling treatment. “And I started using it while I was training and its total game changer as far as recovery is concerned.”

Being an endurance athlete himself, Zabojnik has competed in Ironman and Ultraman triathlons, experiencing first-hand the effects of the equipment he uses.

“So on Saturday’s training, I would ride my bike 130 to 140 miles, and I would do Cryotherapy and NormaTec compressions, and I’d wake up on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t tell that I’d done anything, when normally my legs would be trashed,” Zabojnik explained. “So I’d run a marathon on Sunday and then follow that up with a Cryotherapy session on Monday, and it changed my life, and I thought, ‘Everyone needs to have access to this.’”

Expecting to open their doors on Oct. 16, Zabojnik goes on to explain the hyper-cooling process his facility will use.

In a full body chamber, the therapy will consist of liquid nitrogen air ranging from negative-100 to negative-274 degrees that will lower a patient’s skin temperature to approximately 30 degrees for a three minute period.

“It’s a whole body chamber you get in from your shoulders down, and it blasts you with liquid nitrogen air,” Zabojnik described. “It’s really dry air, so it feels different than the cold, humid air we get during winter.”

Working opposite of a 30-minute ice bath where blood is rushed from the core to the extremities, Zabojnik explains that Cryotherapy does the opposite.

“It takes 20 minutes for an ice bath to have any effect, and your blood doesn’t get oxygenated and doesn’t get the enzymes it needs,” Zabojnik articulated. “But in Cryotherapy, your body has an entirely different reaction where it brings all the blood into your core from your extremities, and releases endorphins, enzymes, and oxygenates your blood as soon as you get out of the Cryo-chamber.”

“So you have this fresh blood that rushes back out and acts like an analgesic too, and immediately reduces swelling, inflammation, and it makes you feel amazing,” he added. “As an athlete you’re only as good as your recovery after your workout, so you can train harder because your recovery will be faster.”

Cryotherapy not only helps with inflammation and muscle recovery, but also rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system, decreases fatigue, and improves mood disorders with endorphin release, Zabojnik listed.

Along with Cryotherapy, Zabojnik also mentions that his facility will house an array of services that include spot Cryotherapy for specific areas, licensed massage therapists for aches and pains, and Normatec compression therapy for circulation, lymphedema, and deep vein thrombosis issues.

“Texas Cryotherapy really blew me out of the water,” King expressed. “I have often thought of this type of therapy as a designer treatment only available in big cities, but that is not the case anymore. Waxahachie’s dot on the map is growing, and people recognize us as the place to be.”

“The fact these entrepreneurs recognize the dynamic community we have here in Waxahachie and choose to invest their unique businesses here is exciting,” she continued, “It will only serve to make us a better place to live, work, and play.”

ALL FOR THE COMMUNITY

Bringing both worlds to Waxahachie, Green and Zabojnik are not only linked together by their passion and experience in their respective fields, but also by something commonly found throughout the culture of Waxahachie – caring for one another.

“The body is the most amazing machine and what it can do and think is pretty incredible,” Zabojnik identified.

“The way Waxahachie is growing, it’s getting fitter and healthier every day. Being an endurance athlete myself, I want to be involved in the community with other athletes as much as I can,” he affirmed. “I’ve always been passionate about helping others, and this is one way I can do that.”

“I’ve been apart of the Waxahachie and Ellis County community for almost 20 years now,” Green agreed. “And I’m so glad to be able to start a business here and to be apart of the community and give back. I’ve been working hard to do whatever I can to meet the needs that are coming to me, and I’m so blessed to be able to do that.”

To connect with Texas Cryotherapy and Wellness, visit texascryoworks.com or call (469)-655-8925.

For more information about Green Counseling and Play Therapy Center, visit greencounselingandplaytherapy.com or call (214)-564-8449.

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Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer

(469)-517-1450