About Our Wellness Center In Peoria
Welcome to the About Page for Senara Health And Healing Center & Spa. Here, you can learn more about our vision, how we came up with the name for our wellness center, our facility, our founders, and our doctors and leadership team. Click on one of the sections below to learn more, and try the “back to top” button if you’d like to jump around each section.
If you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with us, reach out today to request a consultation. We are here to help you Live Life Well.
Our vision is to do everything we can to help our guests to Live Life Well. A big part of our vision came to life in 2011 when construction finished for our Senara Health and Healing Center and Senara Spa. It is the home we’ve built for our guests that brings together all the elements of a healthy lifestyle.
Senara is a special place: a wellness center — a community where our guests can experience just how good they can feel — so they’ll be inspired to live longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives. It is your home for the Senara Experience, which is all about how we can help you feel your best.
Senara is a long-held dream come true for Dr. Keith Kramer and his wife, Penny. Every inch of the building and all of Senara’s services reflect the couple’s shared vision for how they can help others Live Life Well. The energetic twosome have worked as a business team since opening the first Kramer Chiropractic office in 2002. Learn more about the founders of Senara.
The Kramers were inspired to create the Senara Experience over a decade ago after an anniversary trip to Canyon Ranch in Arizona. The resort takes an innovative approach to health, wellness and holistic and integrative care. The experience changed their lives. The Kramers felt completely renewed, and wanted everyone to feel that way. Since then, they have made it their passion and mission to create a similar experience for others to enjoy. And that experience is the wellness center at Senara.
Why the Name Change?
A lot of people wonder why we changed our business name from Kramer Chiropractic to Senara when we built it, so we get this question a lot. And it’s a good one because that was a huge question for us to grapple with too. Honestly, because our Kramer name had become so well-known for outstanding health care, it was tough at first to even think about changing our name.
But after a lot of discussion, the entire staff agreed that the transition to Senara was a better fit for us and our wellness center. Changing from a family name reflects our growth in staff size and especially in all the additional health and healing services we offer you at Senara.
Why the Name Senara?
There’s really no single answer for why we chose the name Senara. For starters, it’s unique and we just flat out like the sound of Senara. But there are other reasons too.
We first heard the name from the Kramers’ young daughter, Grace, who’s a swimmer and absolutely LOVES mermaids. Grace mentioned reading a book about mermaids that talked about the legend of Saint Senara, who happened to be a mermaid. Just as soon as she said Senara, a light bulb went off for us in our search for the perfect new name.
Mermaids are a natural, nautical match with our spa. To us, mermaids also symbolize, in many ways, what it means to Live Life Well. They’re active, powerful, fit, beautiful, and majestic — inside and out. They’re also alluring, charming and mystical. All these qualities and more describe mermaids and how we want you to feel when you Experience Senara.
The Legend of Saint Senara
The village of Zennor in England’s Cornwall region celebrates Mermaid Day in Saint Senara’s honor on April 30 every year. According to legend in Zennor, a young man named Matthew Trewella sang the closing hymn in the village church each evening. Saint Senara was so enchanted by his singing voice that she left her nearby cove and came ashore to listen closer. The two met and, as she visited more often, they fell so deeply in love that when she had to return to the sea, Matthew followed her into the water to spend eternity together.
Legend also has it that if you visit near Pendour Cove at sunset, you just may hear the young man singing, and that the fishermen there still listen for Matthew’s songs to decide if it’s safe to go out to sea or not.
If you ever visit that area of England, be sure to stop by St. Senara Church. Outside the church, you’ll find a bench that’s over 500-years-old with Senara’s likeness carved into it.
Our Facility, Your Home
When you open the doors to Senara, you enter a place in time created uniquely for you, a place for an unrivaled lifestyle experience. We designed our wellness center with a Tuscan feel that’s open, airy, and inviting.
Inside, you’ll find an attention to detail in every square foot of Senara’s 12,000-square-foot interior that includes our 7,000-square-foot Senara Spa. From the environmentally-friendly interior materials we’ve selected to the artwork by local artists, you’ll see throughout the building, it’s all designed to make you, our guests, feel completely comfortable and at home. You will always be a welcome member of the Senara wellness center community.
Committed to Green
You will be proud to be associated with Senara, not only because of our commitment to your health and wellness, but also our devotion to ensuring the environmental health and wellness of our local community and the world. We also encourage all members of the Senara community to constantly be on the lookout, especially at your home, to see how you can make our world greener, too. It’s good for our wellness center to be green, but it’s great for our homes to be too. Take a look at these tips for starters.
And, yes, we “walk the talk” with you. Click here for a look at some of the green features of Senara, and that’s only for the building. We keep the same strong commitment to living and working green with everything from our environmentally safer cleaning products and ongoing recycling efforts to the organic, natural beauty products we use in our services and that we sell, along with the recycled paper merchandise bags we put them
Green Building Features
The architects did a fantastic job of incorporating the green and environmentally friendly building practices we wanted in our wellness center. And we wanted them all. Right down to a system for automatically capturing and recycling rain water to keep the grass growing and green.
To give you an idea of how the building’s design embodies the Senara Experience, including our commitment to protecting the environment, here’s the short list of Senara’s green features that help conserve energy and natural resources:
- Energy-efficient windows positioned to take advantage of natural day lighting
- Local stone and other regional, natural materials (less transport)
- High energy efficiency wall system design, with 80 percent of lower level below grade
- Fountain water recycles endlessly
- Sustainable interior materials throughout
- Carpet tiles of 50 percent recycled content backing and face yarn
- Natural cork and bamboo flooring
- Spa glass accents made from recycled glass
- Low air pollution Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paints
HVAC System and Plumbing
- Variable Air Volume (VAV) air conditioning system consumes less energy
- Air conditioners use non-ozone-depleting refrigerant (R410A)
- VAV terminal units with hot water reheat
- High efficiency gas fired (condensing type) boilers
- High efficiency lavatories, with dual-flush design that need less water
- Low flow showers require less water
- High efficiency hot water heaters
- Downlights throughout the spa use low energy 2.5 watt LED lamps
- Spa lighting controls have four to six zones so only the zones in use are lit
- Accent cove uses an LED rope light that emits just 1.1 watt per lineal foot
- Proximity sensors automatically turn lights off in unoccupied rooms
- All fluorescent lighting uses high efficiency ballast and low mercury lamps
- Exterior site lighting is zoned to turn off all but two security night lights
Senara’s founders, Dr. Keith Kramer and his wife, Penny, have worked as a business team since opening Kramer Chiropractic in 2002. While growing the practice, the Kramers learned everything they could about the healing power of holistic and natural medicines and techniques. This led to adding health and healing guest services, from acupuncture and massage therapies to nutritional counseling and physical therapy to our wellness center. That meant further growth, including added staff and the need to build their spacious Senara facility.
With the move to their long-held “dream home for guests,” they also transitioned from operating under the Kramer name to Senara. The entire building and all of Senara’s services reflect the couple’s shared and passionate vision for how they can help others Live Life Well.
Both of them credit much of their business’s success to that shared vision, and the dedication each of them brings to their individual role in making it a reality. Dr. Kramer puts it this way, “My job is to take care of our guests’ health. And to focus on that, I need to know that everything else is taken care of, and that’s what Penny does.”
Dr. Kramer was introduced to the connection between hard work and business success at the age of four, when he started helping with the chores on his family’s farm in Iowa. He and Penny met at Iowa State University, their alma mater, and they married in 1995. After he graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, they moved to Peoria, where Dr. Kramer joined a highly-respected chiropractic group.
When he left the group to open his own practice and focus on helping others Live Life Well, Penny left her promising marketing career behind to join him in the family business — to devote her time and boundless energy to spreading the message about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
Their daughter, Grace, has been the center and light in their life since her birth in 2002. The Kramer family spends their spare time together and enjoys working out, reading, and traveling. Dr. Kramer and Grace also “rock out” by learning to play guitar together.
To learn more about Senara’s background and our founders, check out this article in InterBusiness Issues.
Our Doctors & Leadership Team
Click on the names below to find out what motivated Senara’s doctors and our leaders to follow their calling to help others in their quest for optimal health and well-being. You’ll also read about their education and experience, and get to know them a little better on a personal level as you work with them in our wellness center. They’ve all got a story to tell that we think you’ll find interesting.
Dr. Keith Kramer
Dr. Stephanie Griffitts
Dr. David Dean
Laura Murphy, APN
Dr. Keith Kramer
Dr. Keith Kramer grew up on his family’s farm in Iowa. He learned early on that business success takes a lot of hard work, when at the tender age of four he started helping with the chores. Throughout his youth, he rose before dawn each day and took hard work seriously, and today he remains an early riser and tenacious in getting things done.
He also credits his independent spirit to growing up on the farm. He thrived on being held personally accountable for finishing his chores. It also made him understand how fulfilling owning a family business can be, so it was only a matter of time, education and a clear purpose before he set out on his own.
While attending Iowa State University, where he met his wife, Penny, Dr. Kramer saw firsthand how chiropractic care helped people to feel better. With that, he had discovered his career path and continued on to Palmer College of Chiropractic, earning his Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
Following his graduation, the Kramers moved to Peoria after Dr. Kramer received an offer to join a highly respected chiropractic group here. In 2002, he left the group to open his own practice, Kramer Chiropractic (Penny also joined him in the family business).
While growing the practice, Dr. Kramer continued to focus on what he could do to help others Live Life Well. He kept learning everything he could about the healing power of holistic and natural medicines and techniques, which led to adding health and healing guest services, from acupuncture and massage therapies to nutritional counseling and physical therapy. That meant further growth, including added staff and the need to build the spacious Senara facility in 2011, which is when the business transitioned from operating under the Kramer name to Senara.
Dr. Kramer is as passionate about living a healthy lifestyle as he is about spreading the message of how to Live Life Well to others. “Working out is my meditation, and eating right fuels my body, and I feel great,” he said. “I want that for everyone. That’s why it is so fulfilling for me to see that what we do at Senara makes a difference in the quality of our guests’ lives.”
Dr. Kramer is Certified in Functional Medicine through the Functional Medicine University. For over 12 years, he has been practicing functional medicine in the realm of adrenal stress, hormone balance, and food sensitivities. He is currently enrolled simultaneously in the prestigious Institute for Functional Medicine programs for: functional medicine, A4M antiaging, and AARM restorative medicine. These programs will deepen his knowledge in the production and utilization of hormones, toxin diagnosis and treatment, and how this affects both biochemistry and physiology. To date, Dr Kramer has completed over 1000 of study, training, and case study as part of his certification at Functional Medicine University and Institute for Functional Medicine.
In 2015, Dr Kramer expanded Senara’s health and healing services further with the addition of a dedicated Center for Functional Medicine, Weight Loss, and Anti-Aging treatments, Senara Medical Weight Loss and Anti-Aging Center.
The Kramers’ daughter, Grace, was born in 2002. The family spends their spare time together working out, reading and traveling. Dr. Kramer likes to golf, and he and Grace also enjoy learning to play guitar together.
Senara co-founder and CEO, Penny Kramer, is filled with energy that never stops. She also has an innate curiosity to learn new things and a strong will to take on tough challenges. The tougher the challenge, the more Penny thrives.
Penny brings every ounce of her endless energy and enthusiasm, and her extraordinary multitasking skills to her role as CEO of Senara. “Keith’s job is to take care of our guests’ health,” said Penny. “To focus on that, he needs to know that everything else is taken care of – and that’s my job.” Penny’s strengths are people and systems. She sees all the pieces of the puzzle, and then puts them together. That means she’s in charge of everything from human resources and training to marketing and the technology Senara uses.
She also understands how important it is to get out from behind the desk, and Penny can be seen literally everywhere at Senara. She especially enjoys greeting guests to make them feel at home, just as she did when the first Kramer Chiropractic office opened in 2002. Back then, when she joined Dr. Kramer in the family business, Penny said goodbye to a promising marketing career without any regrets.
“I’m here because I share Keith’s passion for spreading the message about how to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Penny, who also had primary responsibility for overseeing the Senara building’s construction. “It means so much to us both – knowing that what we do can make a difference in the quality of someone’s life. And that’s really why we built Senara. It gives us the space and the ideal environment to offer different services that help our guests “Live Life Well.”
The Kramers met at Iowa State University, their alma mater, and they married in 1995. After Dr. Kramer graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, the couple moved to embrace Peoria as their new home.
Their daughter, Grace, has been the center and light in their life since her birth in 2002. The Kramer family spends their spare time together and enjoys working out, reading and traveling. Penny and Grace also love to bake, do art projects and decorate together. In addition, Penny offers her time and expertise to several professional organizations, including holding various leadership positions with the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and Central Illinois Tee It Up For the Troops.
Dr. Stephanie Griffitts
A born athlete, Dr. Stephanie Griffitts has always maintained an active lifestyle. With an energetic personality to match, she puts her passion for healthy living in to everything she does.
Dr. Griffitts childhood was spent participating in sports and ballet (her mother is a dance instructor) in Jacksonville, Illinois. Her passion for health led her to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Master’s of Public Health from the University of Illinois Springfield, with the goal to become a dentist. Plans changed when she began to experience chronic migraines, however. “Chiropractic fixed me,” she says, and that was the catalyst to complete her doctorate in chiropractic at the Palmer College of Chiropractic.
“I like to see people get well. I want people to be responsible for their own health, help them with making better lifestyle choices.”
Joining the team at Senara was an easy decision for Dr. Griffitts. She was drawn to the integrative approach to health, much in line with her own. Prior to coming to Peoria, Dr. Griffitts owned her own practice in Springfield, Illinois, for six years, and also worked with other local chiropractic and wellness offices. Her decision to come to Peoria was to enjoy “the big city life” and all of the opportunities that come with that for her and her son, Beau.
A lifelong wellness enthusiast, Dr. Griffitts enjoys participating in CrossFit and competitive running during her free time. She is also an animal lover, like many at Senara, an avid reader, and shares her love of biking with her son Beau as much as possible.
Dr. David Dean
Doctor David Dean grew up in Central Illinois and spent much of his adult life in California, before returning to IL to pursue a career in medicine. He Graduated Magna Cum Laud from Bradley University with a degree in molecular cell biology, then attended SIU School of Medicine in Springfield where he graduated in 2008.
After completing medical school, he completed a three year residency in emergency and trauma medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Following his residency, he worked as a board certified emergency department attending physician, taking care of and treating critical patients. He also specialized in post residency training in aesthetic medicine with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and is certified in aesthetic medicine as well as board certified in emergency medicine.
Dr. Dean belongs to the American Medical Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Peoria Medical Society. He is also certified in advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and Advanced trauma life support. He is credentialed and has staff privileges at both Methodist Hospital in Peoria and Cottage Hospital in Galesburg IL.
Dr. Dean chose to join the Senara team because he saw first hand how effective the treatment and services they provide are and was impressed that it was done in such a professional yet comfortable and inviting environment. He believes in the complete well being of patients from the inside out defining health by terms, that health means much more than just the absence of symptoms or disease.
Dr. Dean and his wife Jozette have 3 active young girls. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with family, working out, going on family bike rides and traveling as often as possible… anywhere and everywhere!
Laura Murphy, MSN, APN, FNP-C
It was a book report in second grade that solidified Laura Murphy’s dream of becoming a nurse. Since that young age, Laura has held on to that book report; saved as a memento of living her life’s dream. Laura is a Central Illinois native, born in Peoria, and living in Morton for the majority of her life. Her childhood summer’s spent traveling, and camping.
In 1997, Laura graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Nursing (RN, BSN) from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. She went on to work as a nurse at OSF St Francis Medical Center, specializing in Cardiology. After 18 years in hospital, she decided she wanted to do more with her career, focusing on preventative care.
In 2010, Laura completed her MSN and began to focus on teaching. Soon after, she realized she missed taking care of patients, and returned to school. She received the Master of Science in Nursing for Family Nurse Practitioner from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing in Peoria, Illinois in May 2014. Since completing training, graduation, and successfully passed the board certified exam, Laura has become a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C).
Laura enjoys practicing physical and functional medicine, as well as medical aesthetics. Prior to her arrival at Senara she spent several years practicing both physical and functional medicine and medical weight loss.
“I want everyone to be healthy and be able to function at their 100% potential,” she says. “I drove by Senara one day and said what an amazing place; I would love to work there. I knew that I did not want to work at a traditional medical office and wanted to focus on promotion of health and prevention of illness, so everyone can be healthy from the inside out. This is Senara’s primary focus and mission- “Live life well” as is mine.”
Laura is a member of several professional organizations including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Illinois Society of Advanced Practice Nurses. She is certified in Advanced Cardiac Life support.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family- husband Shane, two daughters Natalie and Isabelle, step son Braden, and labradoodle Charlie. Shane has worked for the Village of Peoria Heights/ Peoria Heights Police department for the past 23 years as is the Communications Supervisor. Their children are active in the Morton marching bands and volleyball. Laura is also fond of traveling, cooking, and DIY projects.