Move to Heal Pathway Inspiring

On Wednesday, February 21, 2024, we hosted Ethan Hershman and Colleen Delaney, co-founders of the nonprofit group Move to Heal (MTH). It was an insightful session about a recovery approach that is growing rapidly from 1 outlet in 2021 to 24 locations by the end of the year.

I first became aware of Move to Heal when Ian Parker, in his 2023 Vigil speech, mentioned how Move to Heal workouts and community were important recovery tools for him while living in New Haven.

To start off the Pathway Session, Ethan shared his addiction recovery story, a path that started with alcohol and THC addiction, then moving to cocaine and crack. He hit an ugly bottom where he almost lost both his wife and his children. Now with 30 years of recovery, Ethan stated that 12-step fellowship and a fitness regimen were important components of his personal recovery.

Colleen, our second speaker, noted that as a fitness trainer and nutrition enthusiast, it was ironic when years ago she was prescribed a taxing multi-drug regimen to treat her Crohn’s disease and later Lyme disease. After 7 years, she reached a health-related bottom, where she pledged to herself to find a holistic treatment approach. Using a functional food medicine practicitioner, as well as another provider using low-level electromagnetic waves, she gradually have been able to eliminate all of her prescription drugs.

By 2021, a number of forces converged for him to have an “epiphany”, and start up a program that combined support meetings, fitness, therapy, and nutrition. He believed that there were others like him who would find their recovery strengthened and their urges to use eliminated by a rigorous, multi-component approach. He just need a few other people, which he found in Colleen with her nutrition and fitness expertise, and his daughter Allie, a licensed clinical therapist.

By joining forces, the MLT mission was formed. The goal is to help whose with mental health issues including anxiety and depression, addiction, eating disorders, and any life trauma, to achieve wellness and long-term recovery .

The Move to Heal model integrates four disciplines: group exercise, recovery meetings, nutritional coaching and mental health counseling. Move to Heal partners with a fitness facility where participants can attend a 30-minute introductory group fitness class, followed by a recovery meeting. Each facility provides its space and a qualified coach to lead the fitness portion of the meetings free of charge, and in return, MTH covers all membership fees for those who choose to join that facility. Those who attend at least two recovery meetings a month get free memberships, along with two free individual Zoom therapy sessions and free nutritional counseling. What’s not to like about that!

Move to Heal has, as mentioned, been growing rapidly, and it’s easy to see why. Ethan and Colleen have people regularly tell them “your program saved my life”. The MTH team currently has 14 locations, with the closest to New Canaan being Crossfit Westport. Any gym or studio with organized classes and a community is a candidate to become part of the Move to Heal network. I personally will be spreading the word, as I am inspired by what Ethan and Colleen have created. People like them are perfect examples of NCPSG partners.