The Human Form in Grandview feels like the average gym. Treadmills and weights beckon. TRX Suspension Trainers dangle from the ceiling ($15 per 45-minute class, first class is free). But a run-rinse-repeat locale this is not.

The Human Form in Grandview feels like the average gym. Treadmills and weights beckon. TRX Suspension Trainers dangle from the ceiling ($15 per 45-minute class, first class is free). But a run-rinse-repeat locale this is not.

Husband and wife team Michelle and Stephen Ladd are the fitness center's owners and personal trainers. They follow a holistic health lifestyle, focusing on three areas of health - physical, mental and biochemical.

Holistic health's goal is wellness, Stephen said, building it like a foundation. Every brick must be strong for the structure to work best.

"We started The Human Form to have something that represented our philosophy toward health," he said. They've been in their Grandview location for only a year, but Stephen's been building The Human Form platform for nearly 10 years. "We believe in clean living. Mind-set, stress reduction, breathing - all are important."

When clients come to The Human Form, they go through an extensive health assessment. The trainers then develop a wellness plan. That can be as simple as a weekly stretching routine or can include supplementary approaches like hypnosis, Rolfing massages, metabolic nutritional typing or emotional counseling.

Some of their alternative health techniques are controversial, Michelle said, such as recommending full-fat dairy for some clients, depending on individual need. The use of alternative health techniques such as meditation, deep breathing and yoga is increasing, according to a study by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The Ladds, who have extensive physiological and psychological training, work with a medical advisory board and will send clients to other medical professionals if necessary. Whether clients want to achieve health through sprints or spirituality, their main message is that feeling "good" isn't good enough.

"We want to help people feel great, live with vitality," Michelle said.

Five ways to make a healthy change today

Buy organic coffee. Shop for the highest quality foods you can afford and prioritize products. Coffee beans, for example, are often heavily sprayed with pesticides. Local coffee houses like Stauf's in Grandview and Global Gallery sell wholesale organic beans and grounds.

Breathe into your stomach. Chest breathing, which is when your chest rises and falls as you inhale and exhale, can cause neck tension, poor posture and fatigue. Instead, breathe so your belly rises and falls for a complete breath.

Make time to slow down . Practice some form of quiet stress reduction (not exercise) for 10 minutes a day. Try deep breathing, meditation, hypnosis, a hot bath, reading, gentle yoga or stretching.

Straighten up. Correct alignment allows your body to work more naturally and, thus, efficiently. Improve posture by stretching the muscles in front of your upper body and strengthening the muscles in the back.

Put your circadian rhythm in check. Work yourself into the habit of sleeping from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. each night. Make your room dark and quiet and implement a pre-bedtime ritual of winding down.

Source: Michelle and Stephen Ladd