The Holistic Approach: Alternative therapies are more accessible throughout our community


Source : Wikipedia

Southport-Oak Island area has an active Holistic Therapy community. Maybe you have your chakras balanced regularly, and terms like reiki, illuminations, LifeLine Technique, and crystal healing are part of your everyday vocabulary.
Or maybe if you’ve only dabbled in light meditations or breathing exercises—you may ask yourself-what exactly is Holistic Therapy? Also referred to as alternative medicine, holistic doesn’t describe one given—it is a whole approach of therapies outside the realm of modern Western medicine. Sharon Faw, a certified LifeLine practitioner, chromotherapy practitioner, and licensed massage and bodywork therapist, is co-founder with Cathy B. Johnston, of Hearts & Sol Wellness Center, at 200 Country Club Drive Suite B, Oak Island, describes the holistic therapy approach, “as a community of individuals there to assist others, to help remember a person’s ‘wholeness’: mind-body and spirit. The group works with an individual to see what best meets their needs.” Faw continues, “We all have the innate ability to be our own healer—you are the healer—guided by the community to the work that is being done, it’s not one dimensional.”

Holistic therapies are seeing more acceptances in mainstream, “not substituting for modern medicine,” Amanda Joy, also of Hearts & Sol Wellness, (and Sharon’s daughter) is quick to emphasize, “but used as a complementary tool.” Amanda is a herbalist and certified licensed massage therapist specializing in facial reflex integration tissue work. She is also the founder of the WellBeing Co-op,, that meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of every month at the Hearts & Sol Wellness Center. Amanda describes holistic medicine, natural medicine and complementary medicine as, “a ‘360 degree view’- taking in all the factors that make up a person- for example- looking at what you are eating and your nutrition that could have a direct contribution to certain ailments-why is your neck tight?- what you are eating may be contributing to inflammation.”

“We all have things to teach one another, a big group of individuals taking turns driving the ship,” symbolizes Amanda. The Co-op, functions as a buying club with an educational slant. A recent topic was the immune system; the group learned about natural aromatherapy sprays that use specific herbs to boost the immune system: lemon, cloves, peppermint, and eucalyptus. The next workshop: A Natural Medicine Cabinet; which will include charcoal based drawing salves and vulnerary remedies. The Co-op has a collective goal of knowing, promoting and using, sustainable organic quality products. Amanda explains, “with a growing concern for healthy food access and an organized sharing network with sister communities, the Co-op can buy products in bulk and make products; like big batches of elderberry syrup, more affordable and accessible overall, the functioning as a group: sharing product , knowledge and material to promote optimal well-being.”

Holistic practitioners speak in terms of modalities. Many modalities fall under the same spectrum, borrowing from here, and adding a little there. Trained, certified individuals with their own unique techniques, personal style, and background of study-help modify what best meets an individual’s needs. Practices that go back for thousands of years are beginning to see a re-emergence in the mainstream.

Crystal Healing
Crystals and gemstones have dipped in and out of popularity thru the generations. Kristel Webb is the owner of The Crystal Webb (a name play of universal serendipity?) located in Hearts & Sol Wellness. She carries crystals, gemstones and holistic essentials. Kristel explains that the fascination of crystals as a healing property dates back thousands of years: “warriors would use stones like jade or topaz in breastplates for protection.” Crystals are believed to have emotional, physical and spiritual healing properties. For example, amethyst, a light purple stone, also known as the “sobriety stone” is a tranquil healing stone, it quiets addictive tendencies. Shungite, a dark black stone, from Russia over 2 billion years old- is a grounding stone- also a shield for electro-magnetic radiation given off by electrical equipment like microwaves, computers and cell phones. Kristel has small pieces of shungite affixed with sticky paper to adhere to those appliances or electronics.

“The stone is a living organism with vibrational frequencies {it} resonates with us as an individual” explains Webb “Crystals choose us, we don’t choose our crystals” she explains “We are drawn to the frequency crystals.”How does the stone do all that? “You do it”, explains Kristel, “you set the intention for that stone to help.” The shape of the stone also changes the frequency- a sphere releases the energy all around- a pyramid releases energy from the top, – stones come rough, or tumbled, and the tumbled are usually polished, which is convenient for carrying in your pocket.

Cathy B. Johnston is a certified massage therapist, massage therapy educator and LifeLine Practioner, and co-founder of Hearts & Sol Wellness with Faw. Cathy shares that she incorporates stones in all her work, displaying a massive clear quartz, crafted by local jeweler, Chace Johnson, as a massage tool. “Sometimes I will use it warm or heated for trigger point work – other times I will use it as a cooling instrument to aid in flushing tissue hot to cold and vice versa,” explains Cathy, “the massage is intuitive- attuned to what your body needs, to balance the Chakras in your body.” Chakras are the seven energy centers in your body, derived from “Ayurveda discipline- an ancient Indian school of medicine over 5000 years old.”

Chakras are connected to all the senses: color, aroma, sound, touch and taste, they are: Root-red, sacral-orange, solar plexus-yellow, heart-green, throat-blue, third-eye-indigo, and crown-white,gold,silver and violet.


Demonstrating the Light Room

Light Therapy
The benefit of light therapy is that the light sequences the entire full spectrum of light- lining up with the chakras where needed, explains Johnston and Joy. Growing in popularity is the light room at Hearts & Sol Wellness. It was inspired by a light center in Black Mountain, North Carolina. More studies have been done on the benefits of color and prisms. “The particular frequency of light and energy -expands the beneficial resonate state of balance- clients that use the light therapy- sleep better and find relief with conditions such as, SADD-seasonal affective disorder, “adds Faw.

Life-Line Technique
The Life Line technique is an interactive energy technique developed to get at the root of any stressful experience that may be expressing an imbalance – it uses a “laser like precise technique” explains Faw, “bridging the gap between the conscious and subconscious mind, exploring the emotional patterns of reaction-using energy and applied kinesiology as a guide” with a goal of,”tapping into the universal frequency of healing and love.”

Illumination is an interactive session that is designed to help you release imprints, negative behaviors or triggers for some of those things “you just can’t -let -go” explains Geri Karabin, RYT. HLB.certified Energy Medicine Practitioner, Illumination works with your luminous energy field, much like one’s aura, “it’s all based in physics,” explains Karabin, “everything is energy”.

“We talk and get down to pinpointing what you want to release; and we work to repair the rips, tears or in some cases the large holes in the luminous energy field.”

Illumination is practice that comes from the Shamans of Peru. Karabin studies in the Four Winds Society- a 2 to 3 year program that focuses on the practices of the ancient Peruvian Shamans of placing the “Kuya” stones in the direction designed to manipulate the energy in the body. Karabin is quick to explain: “I’m not a healer- I help you get into a position to heal yourself”- “guiding with placing the stones and directed with the laws of attraction-to help the energies to get spinning in the right direction while relaxing, with breathing techniques, and acupressure points and the Kuya.”

Celestial Healing
Chris Gordon an energy medicine practitioner;, uses a combination of different modalities, including reiki- which is energy work that allows the body to free itself so it can self-heal and Jin Shin Jyutsu- practice based on about 27 release points in the body, based on a touch sequence that releases stress, anxiety-even areas you might not perceive as being out of balance. Gordon also is skilled in Shamanic Work – “Old Medicine,” she likes to say, or, “Grandma’s medicine”. She has studied Cherokee Native American rituals and customs, indigenous forms of clearing the way thru “rituals and customs, passed down thru generations, saging, is a good example”. This is when we burn sage to clear the energy in the room.” The work is passive, incorporating meditations and crystals.

“It’s all about you and it is different for everybody-and your body tells me what it needs, and not every session is the same, it works on the positive and negative energies in your body, with a goal of harmony.” Gordon was first certified in Reiki in 2004- since then she has seen her clientele grow, “ten years ago not that many people understood reiki, but as holistic methods are becoming more mainstream, clients are wanting to use the energy work as a compliment to modern medicine.

Other practices that are working with
modern medicine:

Healing Touch for Hospice
Sally Elmo, is a certified Healing Touch for Hospice practitioner. Healing Touch was used early on in hospitals by nurses in the neo natal unit, says Elmo. The nurses found that the babies that were in the incubators found it soothing and having someone near them, settled their crying. The technique involves redistributing energy but there doesn’t have to be touch involved; it is an energy relaxation technique, explains Elmo. The program is part of the Healing Arts for Hospice program in New Hanover County. The energy is designed to aid in releasing blockages to self-heal in cases where that may be a place beyond suffering, states Elmo. In addition to the patients in hospice care, Elmo finds the Healing Touch practice beneficial to family members as well as staff.

Harp Therapy
Harp Therapy has its roots in Europe and started in the US around 1990. Karen R. Rife, Southport Harp,, has her certification in bedside harp. She plays a Celtic 32 string harp, at hospitals and nursing homes. She has played at Dosher Skilled Nursing Center, Ocean Trail and Novant. “The use of live harp music is used to assist in the healing process,” says, Rife, “This is different from music therapy.” Explains Rife, “music therapy is prescribed by a physician where the patients are active participants with instruments with a program designed for a desired outcome, harp therapy is passive- nothing is expected of the patient or family.” There is a scientific base why it works- “sound waves as well as music evokes a relaxation response. One note might be just one note on that given day-for example-middle E- to sooth a patient.” says Rife.

This is just a sampling of the Holistic Therapy community in our area; the theme among all the practitioners was “positive and negative energy”. There is a lot of talent in the area, devoted to a harmonious balance like the balance between the ocean, sand, sun and moon, achieving that great feeling, akin to “the higher vibrations you have after walking on the sandy beach with all those shiny specks of quartz-”sums up Webb nicely. ϑ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Southport Area's Culture & Events Magazine