By Emma Ginader The Daily Item, Sunbury, Pa.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The "Urban's Edge Holistic Wellness Studio" offers wellness products as well as sessions and workshops in yoga, Reiki, meditation, tarot and other spiritual healing practices.
Stacey Martin knew she had to expand her Urban's Edge essential oil spray line when it remained as a top seller for 60 consecutive days.
"This was during November and December, my busiest season," said Martin, owner of the Urban Post, a business on Market Street. "It sold over our handbags."
As a result, she decided to open the Urban's Edge Holistic Wellness Studio in the back portion of her store location.
The studio, which opened in March, offers wellness products as well as sessions and workshops in yoga, Reiki, meditation, tarot and other spiritual healing practices.
These practices are all part of the holistic health movement, which emphasizes an equal importance of physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health.
Amy Davis, of New Columbia, said she never considered holistic medicine until a friend recommended she explore Urban's Edge. Now, she visits regularly.
"I found it to be very beneficial to me," said Davis. She explained that the yoga and meditation classes helped ease her muscle spasms and stress levels.
Helping people with pain issues is fulfilling, Martin notes. She began using essential oils to manage the pain from her own chronic illness.
"It is wonderful when someone walks in with pain, tries on the spray in the dressing room and leaves without that pain," she said.
Eileen Dgien works as a tarot practitoner at the Urban's Edge and her own studio, Celestial Winds in Williamsport. While many people view tarot as learning about a fixed fate, Dgien said it actually works more as a form of counseling.
She said the cards respond to the energy surrounding the client's question. If a Tower card comes up during a reading for a person thinking about moving, it could be read as advice to move due to a feeling of instability. The practice should focus on helping clients work through their feelings and options, said Dgien.
"I think more people are gravitiating toward spiritual healing because they view it as a way to actively take charge of their life and health," she said, noting that she has seen an increase in business at her Williamsport location.
Holistic health practices have increased in popularity across the country as well, according to a recent study from research firm J. Walter Thompson Intelligence.
"Big data knows everything -- there are no more secrets thanks to our digital, hyper-shared lives," said the report. "As hyper-transparency reaches critical mass, we're seeing an emerging appreciation for magic, spirituality and the few truly intangible aspects of our lives yet to be quantified, and the reverence for its benefits."
The study found that a correlation between the increasing number of young women diagnosed with anxiety and the increasing popularity of services like astrology apps and online tarot readings.
These practices help clients cope with an uncertain future, the study said.
Custom Care Pharmacy owner Adam Rosinski said he understands the appeal of holistic, non-conventional medicine. He said he plans to open a wellness center at his pharmacy's new location in Sunbury by next year.
"I think when they do yoga or meditation, they feel better after doing it," said Rosinski. Some holistic practices have gained traction in the sciencific community.
Studies have suggested that yoga and meditation can help with depression and anxiety management, insomnia and blood pressure, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. The National Cancer Institute said that some studies found that aromatherapy and essential oils help improve mood and pain, as well as ease nausea.
However, Mifflinburg's Pompeii Organics manager and certified aromatherapist Kelley Conrad said these practices should be used to compliment conventional medicine, not replace it.
She said it is important to be educated about the market and how to use the products. For example, she said customers should look for GC/MS certification when shopping for essential oil.
"It is difficult to tell unless they have GC/MS testing to verify the quality," said Martin, whose Urban's Edge sprays use GC/MS triple-tested oils. Lower prices or a long-lasting scent can indicate that a spray has used synthetic ingredients.
"There is a lot of misinformation out there," Conrad said. "It is always dangerous if you don't have the proper training and you could get hurt."