An Interview with Premier Holistic Health Power-Couple
David Boguslavsky, MD & Deborah HarrisDoctor David Boguslavsky, MD, medical acupuncturist and sole practitioner of PremierMD in Bridgewater, and his wife Deborah Harris, certified Pilates instructor and owner of Premier Pilates & Yoga in Warren, excel at balancing their flourishing businesses while maintaining their relationship with each other. The two met at a graduate social during Dr. Boguslavsky’s third year at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Deborah, who has a BFA in Dance from Temple University, was teaching Pilates at the Pennsylvania Ballet as well as Thomas Jefferson University Medical School at the time. We sat down to discuss the ways in which they rely on each other and are able to continue to grow within their practices as well as within their marriage.
NA: What influenced your choice of profession?
DB: My grandfather is an internist and my grandmother was a trauma surgeon in Russia. Going into medicine has always been a lifelong dream of mine.
DH: I always loved movement and studied dance from a young age. I truly found enjoyment in dancing and in learning how the body moves. I originally wanted to pursue a career in dance, however I was dropped by my dance partner and suffered a debilitating hip injury. During my physical therapy rehabilitation, I was introduced to Pilates and I found that I felt better not only in the area of my injury but in my entire body, which intrigued me on a deep level. I was instructed by Romana Kryzanowska, Joseph Pilates own protégée and an amazing woman who approached Pilates as not only a form of exercise but as a form of rehabilitation.
NA: How has the professional journey been for you?
DB: We are both unique in that we both started our businesses from the ground up. Immediately after graduating from residency, I started my own practice, which is practically unheard of these days. My “sole practitioner” practice set-up allows for an individualized, unhurried approach that can get lost in practices owned by the bigger medical systems. It has been an interesting challenge to grow my practice through the ever-changing medical landscape in healthcare, but through it all, the one unwavering constant has been the individual connection I have developed over the years with my patients. The impact I’m able to see in their health is what keeps me going.
NA: What are your goals for your businesses and how do you help each other in the professional world?
DB: My practice is unique in that I treat my patients from both a Western perspective with my medical background as well as an Eastern medical perspective with my acupuncture and herbal therapies. We are both very involved in each other’s practices. We routinely cross-refer clients to each other. It is fascinating how often our professional worlds over lap! We routinely help each other out with curbside consults.
DH: The primary goal of my business from the outset has been to cultivate among my clients a sense of wellbeing and to get them stronger and avoid or to rehabilitate from injury. My instructors and I pride ourselves in looking at each person who comes through the door as an individual; really listening to the client and developing a program uniquely suited for their needs. Pilates, with its more than five hundred exercises, has something to offer for everyone.
NA: Deborah, I love that Premier Pilates & Yoga has so many options for families, and mothers especially. There aren’t a lot of studios that offer “Mommy and Me” yoga classes.
DH: It’s very hard, especially as a mom, to find the time to work out. Our group class cards are set up in a way that allows for much flexibility so clients can find classes that suit their schedules. We offer everything from prenatal, “Mommy and Me” and even Playtime Yoga. We also have daytime classes so moms can come during school hours for a mat class or private session. We see a lot of mom-and-daughter duets who come in and work out side-by-side. I delight in offering them this opportunity to not only exercise together but to strengthen the family ties that bind us together.
DB: As a family physician, I can say that it is so essential to transmit a culture of movement and exercise. To plant the seeds of movement from an early age is something I always encourage in my practice.
NA: How do you support each other?
DB: Like every other marriage, our relationship requires a great deal of balance. One of the nicest things about having the two practices is that there is never have a dull moment. Debbie founded her business before I started mine, so she was able to give me a lot of guidance. Our businesses are stronger because we rely on each other for support, expertise and knowledge.
NA: How do you balance work and home?
DB: One of the best things about owning your own business is that it grants you far more flexibility. We make it a point to balance our home and professional responsibilities in such a way that one doesn’t crowd out the other. To me, this marriage feels like a partnership. There is absolutely no way I would be able to do all this by myself, or with somebody who didn’t know firsthand what I was going through.
DH: Absolutely. Family is very important to us and we try very hard to make sure we take time for the entire family and spend time with each other.
NA: You two certainly seem like you have it figured out!
DH: (laughs) It’s a work in progress!
DB: I will say it is unusually balanced. We both feel supported. Every night, after the kids go to sleep, we spend at least a half hour doing Pilates with each other. This improves our health while giving us more time with each other. Two for the price of one!
DH: Another example: David’s acupuncture helped me through a bout of severe nausea associated with my pregnancy. I was hesitant to try it (totally afraid of needles) but on a particularly sick morning, I gave in and it was a wonderful decision. I felt better!
NA: We spoke earlier about the “Mommy and Me” classes at Premier Pilates and Yoga, as well as the Prenatal Yoga offerings and the flexible scheduling for busy women. Are there any other ways your work address women’s health?
DH: I am certified in Pilates for Buff Bones, a program designed for women with Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.
DB: Some ailments I commonly treat, like headaches or IBS, disproportionately affect female patients. Monopause-related hormonal shifts and thyroid disorders are routinely considered in my analysis of my patients.
NA: What do you see for the future?
DH: In regards to my business, I would love to see it continue to grow and to reach the entire family. At Premier, we have been seeing more clients with sports injuries and chronic pain, so I really look forward to growing the rehabilitation aspect of my business. Something that really motivates me is seeing my clients get stronger, seeing them do things they couldn’t imagine doing before. It’s amazing and gratifying. I love the fact that my studio is a part of the community fabric and I am very proud of our fundraising efforts on behalf of the Breast Cancer program at the Steeplechase Cancer Center in Somerville.
DB: I love taking care of my patients, it’s very rewarding. I am proud of the way my practice has evolved over the years and if I can maintain this level of professional growth and personal satisfaction indefinitely, I’ll be ecstatic.
Location: Premier MD, 757 Re 202/206, Bridgewater. For more information, call 908-450-7002, email [email protected], or visit MyPremierMD.com. Premier Pilates and Yoga, 53 Mountain Blvd., Warren. For more information, call 908-754-5901, email [email protected], or visit Yoga-N-Pilates.com.