The Rev. Konstantine Eleftherakis owns ATHOS Wellness and is the parish priest of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Scranton.
ATHOS, which stands for Acupuncture and Therapeutic Herbology of Scranton, opened in September in Dickson City. It offers east Asian medicine practices including herbal medicine, acupuncture and other manual therapies. Father Eleftherakis’ “DIY attitude” and calling to Asian medicine inspired him to start his own practice.
He grew up in Upper Darby, where he studied at both St. Joseph’s University and the Tyler School of Art at Temple University to receive his bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in painting and drawing. After graduating, he married his wife of over 20 years and moved to Boston to receive his master’s in Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. In 2019, Father Eleftherakis received a masters in Chinese medicine at the New York College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. He plans to pursue a doctorate degree in Chinese medicine in the near future.
Father Eleftherakis has served as a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America for 16 years. He has served parishes all over the East Coast from the middle of Georgia to Ohio. It is his 11th year as the parish priest of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Scranton. Outside of the church and ATHOS Wellness, he spends time with his seven children.
His first introduction to east Asian Medicine happened as a teenager when he saw a sign for Korean acupuncture. He rediscovered his love for this field of medicine at the beginning of a doctorate program and practiced Chinese martial arts (Xing Yi), which also re-sparked his interest. He began studying Chinese medicine classics from thousands of years ago and saw it as a complete and refined system of medicine. He benefited from this medicine as well. After suffering from a chronic illness for years, acupuncture and herbal medicine offered him relief and treatment.
ATHOS Wellness offers a variety east Asian medicine including herbal medicine and acupuncture. ATHOS offers manual therapies such as cupping and “gua sha,” dietary therapy, general wellness planning and will soon implement “telehealth”. The business serves anyone suffering from any condition within the scope of its practice. Commonly, the business sees patients with issues from acute and chronic pain, menstrual/fertility concerns, digestive issues, sinus problems, immunity issues, general fatigue, anxiety, common colds and other issues. Patients gain a personal approach to aid in their health and wellness that is offered by ATHOS Wellness.
Ever since Father Eleftherakis was a teenager, he knew that he would not want to work for someone else. He still technically serves as an Orthodox priest only with the blessing of his bishop. When enrolling in the master’s program for Chinese medicine, he knew he would open his own practice. Traditionally, individuals go from student to teacher by shadowing experienced practitioners for years, but Father Eleftherakis decided to start off as a practitioner. The practice is virtually nonexistent in the United States and it is fading away in Asia as well. He was motivated to start his business by his attitude and outlook, as well as needing flexible hours to pair with his life as a priest. He said the biggest obstacle in starting his practice has been the lack of resources to invest in his practice, but that everything has worked out. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging as it has been difficult to acquire new patients and dealing with restrictions. His favorite part of owning his own business is the independence because he understands that east Asian medicine practices are unique in the United States and it would be difficult to properly express his personal practice ideals and desires if he worked for someone else.
Father Eleftherakis offers advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, including listening to the positive yet necessary critical advice offered to you and not those who lack faith in your abilities. He also says that it is important to do your own research and homework through books, podcasts, blog posts, and anything helpful. Understand not only what you know, but what you do not know. Do not be afraid to ask for help from anyone. He points to the University of Scranton’s Small Business Development Center, which has helped him in his business with patience, encouragement and interest in his success. Lastly, he advises patience with yourself and that when you fall, get back up again.
ATHOS Wellness’s website is www.athoswellness.com and it is available on Instagram @athoswellness. The practice offers a free, 15-minute phone consultation for anyone considering the service and wants to speak directly with a practitioner.