Rhode Island dispensary owner supports various alternatives to traditional health care
By Patrick Wagner
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Seth Bock always had an interest in alternative, holistic medicines.
Bock, who now holds a Ph.D. in Eastern medicine, originally pursued medical school before shifting his focus to a more altruistic approach to health care.
“I was turned off by the role of money in that environment,” Bock said. “It was something that I couldn’t get that excited about. So I started looking at other professions in the health care field.”
Bock was turned on to holistic treatment options when a friend suggested acupuncture as an alternative to Western medicine.
“I had no idea that you could even study that in the United States,” Bock said. “The program I did was half acupuncture and half Chinese herbal medicine.”
Bock parlayed his education into founding Newport Acupuncture and Wellness Spa 15 years ago. More recently, he opened Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center just up the road in Portsmouth.
He said there is plenty of crossover between the various holistic approaches.
“The Chinese were the first people to at least document the use of cannabis, going back 5,000 years,” he said. “So it’s as much a Chinese herb as it is anything else.”
Bock said he tries to get his patients to consider more diverse herbal remedies than just cannabis. Even though it may upset his dispensary sales, he wants people to be aware that cannabis is just the tip of the iceberg for herbal remedies.
Bock is aware of the irony that comes with owning a dispensary and recommending alternatives to cannabis. But his training in Eastern medicine has taught him otherwise.
“There are thousands of Chinese herbs and hundreds of them are pretty amazing,” Bock said. “The Chinese are the first to come up with holistic medicine, because they would never give anyone just one herb. For almost anything, from a common cold to things that are much more severe, they would give a blend of herbs that would be perfectly tailored to not only your condition but to who you are as a person.“
Eastern influences are seen in the interior design of Greenleaf, where a towering rainbow-colored Buddha watches the daily traffic from the far wall. Bock has even included elements of Feng Shui into his design.
“So we have a water feature, there is a lot of wood, myrrh; I think I did pay a lot of attention to that, but I wouldn’t say that it is strict Feng Shui in any sense,” Bock said.