Owner Sandra Lee Winter provides a variety of natural health services, as well as shelves of products for purchase and one-on-one consultations on how to use them.
The Natural Way opened in Hamburg recently, after moving from its longtime location in Orchard Park
Sandra Lee Winter never intended to open a natural herbs and vitamins shop. She never intended to do iridoloy readings, reflexology, colon hydrotherapy or bio-feedback either, but her life path wound that way, and 19 years ago, The Natural Way was born.
The store, which opened about a month ago in Hamburg, was originally located in Orchard Park. At its start, it grew out of Winter’s brother’s desire to open a health food store.
“He wanted to open the store and I said I’d help him, but I ended up doing all the work,” she said. “If you asked me 20 years ago if I’d be flushing butts for a living, I’d tell you, you’re crazy.”
Last October, Winter was forced to leave her former location, but she kept much of the inventory and the machinery she had purchased, just in case. Over the past few months, her father died of prostate cancer, her dog died, her dad’s dog died, her longtime romantic relationship ended and she has had to take care of her father’s estate, as well as get herself back on her feet. That included moving back to her Hamburg hometown and moving her store into the Armor Plaza, down the street from where she currently resides.
“I did some soul-searching and thought, ‘Do I really want to throw away everything I’ve worked for?’” Winter said. “So I thought, I can’t just sit around and not use what I’ve learned. I had to get back into it. A lot of people don’t know I’ve moved, so I wanted to tell people I’m here.”
Winter, a master herbalist and irodologist who is certified in a variety of natural health techniques, provides a wide range of services and products for her clients. Those clients are equally wide-ranging, from Amish women who take advantage of her colonics practice, to locals who stop in for herbal supplements.
“I have these Amish ladies who come down to the auction in Springville, then come see me for their treatments,” Winter said, with a laugh. “So I’ve got this sewing circle that sits and drinks tea, and I take them in one one after the other. It’s a blast!”
Winter said the main focus of her practice is individual consultations. “There are answers for people,” she said. “We live in such a fast-paced world, in which people use and abuse their bodies and put all of these medications into it, then wonder why they’re feeling the way they do. I do one-on-one consultations to figure out what a person needs and how to help them without medications. I like to say, ‘mother nature takes care of father time.’”
She said that her personal touch is what makes The Natural Way unique, among natural health stores.
“A lot of times, people will go into a store and buy something, and then they’ll call and say, ‘What do I do with this?’ I’m an herbalist and I do one-on-ones, so you’re not just grabbing supplements off the shelves. People will know what they’re getting.”
And with Winter, she said that what her customers are getting is that personal touch she values.
“So much of what I do is to help people,” she said. “Before I got into this business, I always liked people. It’s a snowball effect. I was a little upside down, and now I’m getting back right-side up.”
Her services include optimal health technology, aqua chi foot baths, colon hydrotherapy, ear candling, iridology, raindrop therapy, reflexology, electro-lymphatic therapy and infered light therapy.
“I do a lot of work with cancer patients, people with chronic illness,” she said. “You’ve got to put the good in and get the bad out.”
In addition to working from her shop, Winter will do consultations off-site, as well.
“I do light therapy on a patient in a nursing home,” she said. “Since she can’t come to me, I go to her. I can work from anywhere, wherever I’m needed.”
Next, Winters said she hopes to learn massage, to offer an even wider range of services to her clients. “I think it is the next natural step,” she said. And for Winters, natural is the way to go.
The Natural Way is located in the Armor Plaza, at the corner of Abbott and Armor Duells roads. She is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays. The Natural Way can be found online at www.sandysthenaturalway.com
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