Friday, February 12, 2016

Business Spotlight - Phoenix Whole Health - By Michelle Libby

Ruth Murphy is her own success story. A year ago she weighed over 350 pounds, now after a 130 pound weight loss, extensive training and schooling; she has opened Phoenix Whole Health in Raymond.

Phoenix Whole Health (PWH) offers weight loss support groups, bootcamp type trainings and nutrition counseling as well as small group exercise training at the new studio at Sedona Wellness on Route 302 with no more than four to a group. PWH specializes in working with individuals of all ages that have or are at risk for chronic health conditions like obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. PWH takes a whole body approach to health and fitness – mind, body and spirit.

Murphy has always been in the health field. She is a certified physical education teacher and although she has always struggled with her weight, she still wanted to be active. After her weight loss, she decided to get her National Academy of Sports Medicine personal trainer certification and now is in the process of getting her Master’s degree in health psychology.

“I can say I’ve been there,” she said.

For some people losing weight is more mental than just working out and decreasing calories. PWH offers support which is crucial to success. Lap-Band and gastric bypass surgeries can fix how much a person eats, but doesn’t necessarily fix the reasons why a person eats, said Murphy.

PWH also can work on time management skills which are very important when it comes to finding time to go to the gym or time to prepare food. Murphy works with each individual to formulate a plan that will help them lose weight and get healthy. She likens her plans to an Individual Education Plan in the schools, except about health. Each client gets an individualized plan for fitness and nutrition. Murphy asks her clients, “What support do they need to achieve their goals? What barriers do they have to overcome?” By finding the answers to those questions, she can help figure out what’s going to work for them.

“When I first saw the nutrition class listed in our local Adult Ed brochure I was skeptical that it wouldn’t be any different than other diet, food plans that I had experienced. But, I needed to do something to help me with getting back to a healthy state. Ruth surpassed any doubts that I had about learning about nutrition and establishing a healthy eating lifestyle,” said client Marlene Thombs. 

PWH works with all ages and fitness levels. The name Phoenix Whole Health came from Harry Potter. “A new you arises,” Murphy said. “It burns up and comes back to life. They need to and want to be ready.”

Using tools like and meditation, Murphy helps her clients make better decisions and can also refer them to other professionals if they need additional help.  

Exercise classes will be offered starting February 29, and are 45 minutes long. The classes are limited to four people and will work on cardio, strength training, flexibility, core and balance. It  will utilize various styles of workouts from yoga to high intensity training. Each client wears a heart rate monitor during the classes to make sure they are working in the correct target zone. “I don’t want to make it miserable, but I want to push them,” Murphy said.

On Monday nights there is a small weight loss support group at 6 p.m. at Phoenix Whole Health at Sedona Wellness Center. The suggested donation is $8.

Personal training prices range from $25 per hour for a semi-private half hour class to $55 per hour for a personal one hour private class. All classes and trainings are in the evenings and on Saturday mornings. PWH also offers motivational phone calls or online support weekly or less frequently to help keep clients on track.

In the future, Murphy would like to create a PWH program for school age children because chronic health issues are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s youth.

PWH recognizes everyone is an individual and all have different learning styles, circumstances and needs. Getting healthy for most requires attention to more than just the physical side. Through one on one consultation(s) PWH will develop a fitness team and individual fitness plan. Initial consultations are.

PWH studio is located at Sedona Wellness, 1288 Roosevelt Trail in Raymond. For more information, visit or call 207-400-0948.

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