Dr. Gurjeet Birdee, M.D., M.P.H., is a physician scientist who has researched the evidence of integrative therapies for over a decade.

Dr. Birdee is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. He completed a clinical research fellow in Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and was faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he directed research in Integrative Medicine. He was funded by the National Institute of Health to perform research in the clinical efficacy and mechanisms of integrative modalities.

Dr. Birdee provides consultations to patients on integrative health that align with their conventional health care providers. During visits, Dr. Birdee will review the patient’s medical history, current treatments, and health goals. He will provide an integrative treatment plan that will incorporate integrative modalities alongside the conventional care being received. Treatment plans and patient updates are provided to the patients’ physicians.

The Tennessee Dept of Revenue recently ruled that all health and wellness classes are subject to sales tax under the Tennessee Amusement Tax.

In compliance with this ruling, Ha.Lé will be adding sales tax to all class and workshop purchases beginning Sept 1, 2018. 

The ruling specifically references “fitness” centers and classes, and goes on to clarify that “fitness” includes “yoga.” Ha.Lé is not a fitness center and does not offer any kind of fitness classes. We are health care. Since the state of Tennessee seemed to be declaring yoga to be fitness, we took the opportunity to clarify our language. Yoga is really much more than fitness, but it is also often taught as fitness, and that has been a source of confusion. All our classes are based on mindfulness and a therapeutic approach to movement and alignment, which is very different from a fitness yoga class.

After clarifying our language to better communicate what our classes really are, we contacted the Tennessee Department of Revenue to confirm that the sales tax does not apply to mindful movement classes. We ultimately spoke with the legal department, who were uninterested in the difference between fitness and mindfulness. Because there are mats, movement, and yoga trained teachers, they say the sales tax ruling does apply to us.

State Representative John Ray Clemmons is introducing legislation in 2019 to exempt health and wellness classes from sales taxes. If you agree, please encourage your Tennessee state legislators to support this bill.