SOMERS, N.Y. - On July 1, 2014, local Allstate agent Karen Merritt was diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s recovered now and is cancer-free. But it was a long journey, one that led to an unexpected destination.

As a result of her experiences throughout her recovery, Merritt decided to open her own wellness center in Somers. Bové Spa & Wellness, which opened in May, incorporates an array of medical, aesthetic and holistic treatments that provide each client with a unique, personalized experience.

In collaboration with her life partner, John Newell, who owns Whitehall Auto Services at Route 35 and Route 100 in Somers, and her daughter, Abigail Bové Merritt, who handles the spa’s marketing and social media platforms, Merritt’s mission is to care for the whole person through an array of eclectic programs.

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Merritt’s cancer treatment took one and a half years, but her subsequent recovery was challenging.

“I had a difficult time gaining back my immune system,” she explained. “I didn’t have chemo, but I had multiple surgeries in a short period of time. I just wanted to get everything done. But I had a hard time getting better with all the pain medication, treatments and anesthesia. Your body gets so toxic, your immune system is gone and every time someone walks by you with a cold, you get sick. It seems like it’s never-ending.”

So, Merritt began a quest to find some answers. She went to Florida to take a break and search for answers and began to do a lot of reading.

“I ended up finding out about something called hormone optimization,” she said.

Hormone optimization helps replenish and rebalance the hormones in an individual and can assist with a variety of issues, including:

• Increasing energy

• Improving mental clarity

• Weight loss and belly fat reduction

• Reducing or eliminating symptoms of menopause

• Improving muscle strength

• Age-related illness prevention

• Reducing joint pain

• Increasing bone density

• Improving mood, and more

The closest place Merritt could find to provide the procedure, in which a small pellet is placed under the skin by a medical doctor, was more than an hour’s drive away. The pellet is time-released, so the procedure is performed about every six months and results in steady and consistent levels of hormones in the body.

“The pellet is bio-identical and plant-based, and the dose is tailored for each person.” Merritt said. “First, you get your blood taken and the dosing is based on multiple individual factors- it’s not “one size fits all.” It’s a minor medical procedure, so you need a doctor. Our doctor is fantastic. Dr. Lee Marcus is a preventative cardiologist. He believes hormone optimization is great for long-term health and overall well-being.”

The results of hormone optimization were life-changing for Merritt. It was then she knew she had to bring the service to Somers and Bové Spa & Wellness was born.

“It saved my life,” she said.

She began brainstorming with John and her daughter to come up with other services they could provide besides the hormone optimization.

“It’s not just a spa, it’s a wellness center, so we have things like meditation, CBD products, facials, and reiki (hands-on energy healing).”

Bové also offers a service known as cryotherapy. It can be used in myriad ways, such as cryo-slimming and weight loss (love handles, back, arms, stomach, glutes and legs); reduction of cellulite; cryo-lift facials (increase collagen production, reduces pores); cryo for muscle relaxation, and for skin toning and tightening.

Bové’s Dr. Marcus also performs vein treatments, varicose vein therapy, and treats chronic venous insufficiency. Bové offers injectables and fillers—non-surgical cosmetic enhancement products—such as Xeomin (for crow’s feet, laugh lines, frown lines, etc.); Radiesse, a dermal filler to restore lost volume and smooth wrinkles; Belotero Balance, a smooth gel that integrates into the skin tissue and replenishes it.

They also offer sessions for a hyper vibration machine, which Merritt says is great for lymphatic drainage and circulation, and red-light LED therapy.

Bove will hold a hormone optimization event on Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Merritt and her staff invite you to begin your own healing journey and become your best self. To find out more, call 914-276-2200.