Cristina de La Mar and Phil Veneziano are the duo behind traditional Chinese medicine practice Seven Point Wellness in Maplewood. Offering acupuncture, therapies and herbal remedies, they embody a balance of east and west, suburb and city, husband and wife. And after a year on Maplewood Avenue, they’ve outgrown their office and are renovating a much larger space in Millburn due to open March 1.
Deep Knowledge and a Holistic Approach
In addition to medical issues, de La Mar and Veneziano examine a client’s diet and lifestyle. “Chinese medicine looks at the global issue,” Veneziano said describing one way it’s different from western medicine. Each has developed an area of expertise, building on experience from previous careers. He was in the music business, she in human rights, community health and public advocacy.
De La Mar, who often prescribes patients a funny movie to watch from a list she keeps, specializes in oncology, chronic illness and women’s health issues. She’s also a certified labor and delivery doula. Veneziano focuses on orthopedics and sees patients who have neuro-degenerative disease such as multiple sclerosis. He also treats injuries and works on preventing them. A Yankees fan, he plans to someday work with local professional sports teams.
A Meeting of Minds, Somewhere in the Middle
They met in 2005, both career-changers and students at the Academy of Chinese Culture and Health Sciences in Oakland, CA. Even then, they were a study in contrasts. He’s a high-energy Italian from Newark, NJ who trusts his gut. She’s calm, logical, a northern Californian with deep American Indian roots. He does yoga to relax; she does kickboxing. In eastern terms, they both explained, she’s a grounded, cool watery Yin to his airy, always-moving Yang.
“Our patients comment on it all the time,” de La Mar said. Clients have access to one or both of them, depending on need, so they take turns commuting between Maplewood and their office on 40th Street in the city, which they opened first in 2009. Even the name Seven Point Wellness demonstrates how they work together. It’s a combination of names from practices they ran individually before becoming partners. “We eventually come to something,” Veneziano said, describing how they coalesce. “We somehow meet in the middle.”
For now, Seven Point Wellness is located upstairs at 174 Maplewood Avenue. On March 1, they move onto the Short Hills Surgery Center on Millburn Avenue next to Trader Joes.