Dr. Sarah Kirsch’s Berkley-based workshop space offers lessons on improving your body and mind
By Rachel Pepe
Photography by Quinn Banks
A chiropractor’s office isn’t where you’d typically go to learn meditation skills or new soup recipes.
But at Balanced Health and Wellness, Dr. Sarah Kirsch’s Berkley clinic, a full menu of health-boosting tutorials are on offer. They’re the core curricula of The Classroom, a workshop space Kirsch opened in September to help her patients implement positive lifestyle changes. “Through all of my training and education I’ve learned a lot about helping people,” says the 38-year-old, who practices functional medicine — which means she focuses on the root cause of chronic illness. “I’ve always had this dream of creating a space where I could teach a workshop.”
Kirsch had attempted to host wellness classes in her clinic’s waiting room, but time and space were limited. “So often I was giving someone a nutrition plan and not having time to go over how to implement it,” she says. When the storefront next door went up for lease, she decided to knock a hole in the wall and start building. The result: a minimalist, peaceful-feeling space with picture windows that let the sunlight stream in, and, of course, a large chalkboard showcasing the class schedule.
Since its debut, The Classroom has held workshops on foam rolling (which helps achy muscles), mindfulness, healthy cooking and re-establishing core control after giving birth. Kirsch and her partner, holistic health coach Jaclyn Renee, developed the courses; they enlist local experts ranging from nutritionists and physical therapists to psychologists and cooking instructors to teach. “We took our patients’ struggles into consideration,” says Kirsch. “We built classes around commonly treated conditions, which would allow us to help a broader population.”
After wrapping its first semester with a “better-than-expected” turnout, she says, The Classroom has big plans for 2020. Aside from workshops on restoring gut health and self-healing, Kirsch and Renee hope to expand, both their current location — they’re building a kitchen to host cooking classes — and beyond. On their wishlist: Creating an online component to make classes available for download, so that potential “students” can tune in from anywhere. “We want to reach thousands of people to assist them with their health,” says Renee. “We feel like we’re paving a new industry that we hope catches on, so that we all band together and keep helping people in their healing journey.”
For more information on The Classroom’s workshops, visit theclassroomberkley.com.