Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.



Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.



Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…


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information out there to sort out, especially if you have been inactive for a period of time and want to limit your chances of getting injured.”

While most people can think of a whole host of things they would rather be doing than exercising and things they’d rather be eating than salad, the fact remains exercise and nutrition are of vital importance as we age. Spaces to go to work out abound, as do places to get healthy food. Education on the two components remains sketchy for many people, even in a world where information is fast and prevalent.

What may come as a surprise is the affordability of high-end services at Body Structure, with rates starting at $39 and no initiation fees. If your doctor recommends you need to start an exercise program, you may use your FLEX spending or HSA account. Also, in the state of Kentucky you do not need a prescription to see a physical therapist. They offer a free consultation and, if treatment is needed, you can use your insurance.

Though Body Structure has done quite well over the past two decades, many Lexingtonians have no idea it exists nor of the full scope of service it offers.

“We’ve been located off Richmond Road behind The Chop House for years, but many people are oblivious to our presence,” Balcirak said.

The facility has many amenities people look for and appreciate in a workout facility. In addition to good parking and proximity to New Circle Road, Body Structure features an inviting, open lobby, with friendly staff greeting members as they come in. Top-of- the-line machines and personal trainers and physical therapists at work with various clients and groups make Body Structure a very warm and inviting place.

Perhaps the concept of combining fitness and medical care is hard to get across in advertising and branding. It seems when most people are looking to lose a few pounds or join a gym to find a social network, they usually just throw a dart at the Yellow Pages and see what they hit. Body Structure’s approach sets it apart from other local offerings, and so does the team feeling. A number of Balcirak’s employees have worked for him for many years, and that is always a great sign of proper management and good relations.

Dr. John Borders, medical director at Body Structure, has been practicing medicine for nearly four decades. When Balcirak first approached Borders about coming aboard as medical director, he was hoping to add the highest-caliber medical professional to his team. After all his years of practice, Borders was still interested in the best-quality medical care for his patients. He had come to see the general examination as the main tool in understanding a patient’s overall health and wellness.

“The general examination, traditionally speaking, is disease focused,” Borders said. “It is aimed fundamentally at detecting illness early. The examination I intend embraces time- honored screening concepts as I strive to better understand the patient’s body and lifestyle. I must come to understand my patient’s unique circumstances, such as risks related to family history and the cumulative choices of a lifetime. The traditional examination, if it stands alone, is of fairly marginal value, particularly without a continuum of care.

“I am humbled by my professional limitations,” Borders added. “I find it necessary to partner with colleagues who can best teach, model and mentor my patients in these life skills.”

Borders says a high-end commitment to exercise is the best predictor of quality aging. Fewer than 20 percent of adults approach excellence in this regard. By a generous estimation, only 20 percent of adults meet minimum nutritional standards.

“Traditional medical education remains largely focused on the vast array of human diseases and their presentations and, to a much lesser degree, their causes,” Borders said. “I have dis- covered a setting where trustworthy colleagues have inspired my patients to aim higher. These colleagues at Body Structure can provide a tailored, individualized approach to wellness far more effectively than I can provide in the tradi- tional medical environment. Additionally, I can trust those with physical challenges to properly credentialed professionals who can safely incorporate their special needs into a comprehensive recovery and wellness protocol.

Body Structure, which means updating, progress, better service and happier people. New machines are being installed, more TVs are being mounted and new decals are adorning select walls. The Wall of Success is complete with pictures of Body Structure’s medical staff, personal trainers and physical therapists. Letters detailing success stories are available for all to read, ensuring everyone knows the process worked for others and will work for you, too.

A well-constructed website (bodystructure.com) takes potential members through the Body Structure process. The ultimate goal is the transfer of “the knowledge to build a better body.” For more information about Body Structure, call (859) 268-8190 or visit the Web site.

Kevin Balcirak is not playing around when it comes to fitness and health.

For the past 20 years, Balcirak (pronounced Ball-sir-rack) has owned and operated Body Structure in Lexington. While a 5-second Google search will yield a long list of gyms in the Bluegrass, Body Structure among them, Balcirak’s concept is quite different from the rest.

“The major difference with us is that our average member is 52 years of age with several issues and we can safely get them started on a routine,” Balcirak said. “The first thing we do when a member signs up is to take them through a safety screening process. Then we talk to them about their goals, which can be very different for everyone.”

Some people are looking to lose weight; some need to strengthen; others want to look a certain way; and many have special medical needs. “We help people get to their goals with quality exercise and sound professional support,” Balcirak said.

So how did all this get started?

“We came to Lexington back in 1994,” Balcirak said. “I was a marketing director for a physical therapy company by day and personal trainer by night. Then in 1997 I developed the concept for Body Structure



Charles Sebastian is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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and ran with it.

”The idea behind Body Structure is that people’s lives can be changed through safe exercise in a “MEDICAL FITNESS” setting. “We are so confident in our proven method of safely starting someone on a customized fitness program, we back it up with a guarantee,” Balcirak said. “Who does that in the fitness industry?”

The credentialed staff will perform a thorough assessment for each new client and help him or her establish specific goals, all with the idea of giving each person the best possible service.

“Eventually, we want people to get back on their own after getting the right information and understanding how to apply it,” said Balcirak.

The staff even calls and checks on members when they don’t see them. “Everyone needs some level of accountability,” Balcirak said. “There are so many different obstacles in life, not to mention the natural aging process, that need to be addressed when designing a program. Furthermore, there is a plethora of