By Angela Oliver Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Three women who are focused on POSITIVE ENERGY are using their businesses to introduce people to alternative wellness practices. From meditation, to reiki, these Kentucky women have the community covered. AND CALM!
Messenger-Inquirer, Owensboro, Ky.
Practices alternative to the mainstream rarely take off right away. That goes for holistic health and wellness.
"As Kathleen says, people used to say 'don't tell anyone you're going to the chiropractor, what is that?!' But now, people are asking who your chiropractor is," said Pam Burns, owner of Holistic Balance Mental Health & Hypnotherapy.
Burns, a licensed professional counselor and certified hypnotherapist with more than 20 years of mental health counseling in her background, is part of a trio of alternative health and wellness businesses at 3520 New Hartford Road, Suite 200.
The suite houses the offices of Burns, Sandra Riley-Miller's Choices Hypnosis and Kathleen Peters' Stepping Stones Hypnosis.
"We're each individual businesses, but sometimes we refer our clients to each other, depending on what they're looking for," Riley-Miller said. "Each of us has our specialty."
Riley-MIller, is also a certified hypnotherapist and a reiki master, using the transference of energy to aid in a person's healing.
Clients commonly use reiki and hypnosis to help overcome bad habits such as smoking, or to address chronic pain, social anxiety, claustrophobia and the like, the women said.
"I tell people it would be pretty boring to watch," Riley-Miller said with a laugh. "But it's about activating the healing process. I'll refuse to do it if I'm not feeling healthy enough; I want to be sure to transfer the right energy."
At the core of these alternative practices is relaxation, as less stress leads to a healthier immune system. The women agree that their practices should not replace medicine or visits with a physician.
"It's considered a help to medicine; it's not medicine and I don't claim it to be," Riley-MIller said.
"But it enhances," said Burns. Her fast-paced recovery from knee surgery a while ago was surprising to her physical therapists. "I had reiki sessions with Sandy and I could feel the difference."
While mostly due to $679 billion in anti-aging and beauty product consumption, the health and wellness market, which includes alternative medicine, is on tap to be the world's next trillion-dollar industry.
According to the February 2015 National Institutes of Health report, "Trends in the Use of Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States 2002-2012," only about 5 percent of U.S. adults use alternative medicine alone and one-third of U.S. adults use it in addition to their traditional medical care.
"When we want to lose weight, we work out or have the intention, we read self-help books for our mind, but we don't always take care of our spirit -- our core, our soul, our foundation, whatever you want to call it," Burns said. "If this building had no foundation, it would crumble. Our practices are all ways to treat the spirit, the foundation."
Meditation stayed among the top five most commonly used approaches for each time point of the NIH survey with 7.6 percent of adults using it in 2002, 9.4 percent in 2007 and 8 percent in 2012. Guided imagery hypnosis and energy healing therapy had a consistently low prevalence and had no significant changes across the three time points, the report states.
Burns is optimistic about the growth of meditation, and complementary treatment overall.
"We're on the cutting edge," she said. "I see it only growing and expanding because now, people are more concerned about healthier food, healthier lifestyles, self-care, natural ways of treating ailments. They're really understanding that their body, mind and spirit all work together, they depend on each other."
Some doubt its benefits and some can't seem to find the time to try it.
"But meditation isn't sitting on the top of a mountain in your linen robe anymore," Burns said. "It's taking 20 minutes of your day to breathe, relax, find your joy, think more clearly, have your 'ahh' time. If you think about 'ahh,' the sound is in God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Krishna ...meditation is also a way to get in tune with the God of your understanding."
If everyone practiced it, she said, things would change.
"The world is energy; when we meditate, we bring our vibrations higher and that higher, positive vibration affects other people," she said. "If we taught every 7-year-old to meditate for 20 minutes a day, we'd have a generation of peace. With the right vibrations, you can change the world."