Welcome to the Healing Arts Center website!
The purpose of our website is to offer you resources and information to help support you in your journey to greater health. The Healing Arts Center, located in Eastsound on Orcas Island, Washington, is well into its third decade as the largest holistic health care resource in the San Juan Islands.
If you are looking for an alternative health care provider on Orcas Island, you can view biographies of our 20+ practitioners here. Our practitioners are fully licensed or certified in their field(s) of expertise. You will find a range of health services including Massage Therapy and Bodywork, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Energy Healing, Reflexology, Counseling services, Astrological and Tarot Readings and more. You may call us for further information or to schedule an appointment at 360-376-4002. We are located at 453 North Beach Rd., Eastsound, WA 98245.
To find out about local health and wellness classes and events, including early notice of our Spring and Fall Healing Arts Fairs, check out our Events page, or fill the below form to receive email updates:
Therapeutic and Swedish Massage, Deep Tissue and injury treatment, Craniosacral Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy, Reflexology, Lomi Lomi Massage
From my dance I bring a balanced and grounded touch to each session. Through my love of nature, I maintain a deep connection to spirit, health and healing. I treat the whole body, both intuitively and technically, creating a sacred space of nurturing and caring. Working quietly, I combine focused Deep Tissue Massage, Craniosacral Therapy, Trigger Point therapy, and Foot Reflexology. For injuries or chronic pain, I use hot packs to aid in relaxation and demonstrate stretches and yoga poses to continue healing at home. My commitment to the healing process has enabled me to see the larger picture of health and wellness. Working together my clients develop a greater vitality, prevent injury and leave with a sense ofwell-being. I graduated from The Brian Utting School of Massage in 1990 and have been working at the Healing Arts Center ever since. My studies have been vast and varied and I tailor the session to the needs and changing rhythms of each client.
Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Massage
Holly moved to Orcas island in 2005 and joined theHealing Arts Center in 2008. She graduated from Southwest Acupuncture College’s Santa Fe, NM campus in1998 with a Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine. In addition, she graduated from both the Universityof Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in LiberalArts and from the Florida School of Massage/FloridaInstitute of Natural Health in 1991. She has been practicing Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for 12years and massage therapy for 10 years. Holly specializesin pain and stress relief, women’s health and facial rejuvenation.
Personal, Relationship & Family Counseling; Conflict Mediation; Dreamwork; Spiritual/Shamanic Journeying
I chose Steppingstone Counseling as a metaphor for my work because I especially like the feeling it evokes. Getting through difficult “currents” in our lives is largely about “keeping our balance” as we take one step at a time to “get to the other side”. In my experience, deep healing is about balancing our hearts and minds; securing our footing as we find more freedom in living our lives.
When I meet with my clients, my hope is to help provide an atmosphere of safety, respect and trust. My focus is to encourage my clients exploration of their own personal resources for understanding, healing and happiness. The experiences I have had in being with people in deep grief guide me to trust in my clients profound wisdom. I provide child, individual, couple and family counseling/psychotherapy and also assist in resolving couple/family/ organizational disputes as a conflict mediator. Since 1980 I have provided counseling and have practiced at the Healing Arts Center since 1993. This professional work is offered on a sliding scale basis. I am licensed in Washington as an Independent Clinical Social Worker and have been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist. I also offer hospice caregiving and elder-care as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Since 1985 I have had the honor of studying with traditional Northwest Coast Medicine People and have received training in Shamanic healing and journeying. My Shamanic work is offered on a donation basis. My intention is to join with my clients in their exploration of balancing their spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical health.
I came to understand the profound power of massage while I volunteered as a receptionist for the Healing Arts Center in 2002. The following year I went on to study massage therapy at The Desert Institute of Healing Arts in Tucson, Arizona. I graduated with over 1,000 hours ofstudy in anatomy, physiology, practical and clinical massage. Returning to Orcas, I joined the Healing Arts Center in 2004, the same year my twin daughters were born, thus changing mylife forever. My massage is powerful, intuitive, deep and sensitive. Some of my clients have described my massage as deep tissue energy work, swimming with dolphins, and shamanic sports massage. I work in a very present manner and always intend for your highest good and highest healing to come from the massage.
Between 2007 and 2010, I trained in the Anat Baniel Method (ABM), based upon the work of Moshe Feldenkrais. I have studied 800 hours in this dynamic system of brain reorganization through movement. The movement is designed to reeducate the way one uses their body, in order to make the impossible possible, the possible effortless, and the effortless elegant. It works directly with the nervous system in reorganizing the brain and building new neuro-pathways. I offer group mat classes 24 times a week, as well as individual lessons. I have received additional certification to practice with children with special needs. The ABM has excellent results in working with a variety of developmental disabilities, in teaching body awareness and awareness through movement.
I consider myself to be a Body-Mind Therapist, and I support people to harmonize the body, mind, and Spirit.
I have practiced bodywork since 1976, and hypnotherapy since 1989. I offer the full range of body healing modalities. My specialty is hypno-bodywork. Supporting women to live their power on all levels is my joy and my passion. I look forward to helping you to harmonize your whole being!
Intuitive Counseling using Tarot
I began life as an intuitive as a child, but did not have my first teacher until I was seventeen. At that time I began to study in earnest and have since. My second teacher, an Indonesian Shaman, appeared when I was 29 and I studied with him for 4 years. I met James Wanless in 1987 when he was introducing the Voyager Tarot Deck and learned from him to use the Deck as a focusing tool.To the session I bring many years of work and practice and my myriad of guides. The effort is to answer the questions brought to the table and to relate what the guides and the universe want to channel. I seek to give only guidance We all are given free will and the right to exercise that gift at any time; to change or accept the messages given. Peace to us all.
Therapeutic, Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage; Hot Stone Massage;Reflexology; Energy Work (Polarity, Reiki); Acupressure
I have been practicing bodywork since graduating from the Heartwood Institute in California in 1981. My primary training there, in addition to basic Swedish massage, was in Polarity Therapy. Before coming to Orcas in 1992, I taught and practiced massage in Alaska and Seattle. I have training in Shiatsu, reflexology, hot stone massage, and have 1st Degree Reiki attunement. I also studied spiritual/shamanic healing practices from Northwest Coastnative teachers for many years. I trained with Tracy Walton of Sloane-Kettering in Working with Clients with Cancer.
I began at Healing Arts Center in 1995. I also worked for several years at the Rosario Resort Spa, and currently work at Orcas Spa & Athletics. The unique approach I bring to my bodywork, I believe, is a body-mind-spirit orientation. While I am delighted tohelp clients free themselves of aches and pains, and can work quite deeply if so desired, I love to help them integrate physical changes with a renewed sense of emotional well- being, and to assist the process of spiritual transformation for those who are seeking deeper levels of growth in consciousness. The work can be done in silence or with carefully chosen music. I am comfortable working with all ages, with pregnant and postpartum women, and with people experiencing serious illness, grief/trauma, or life transitions, as well as injuries and ordinary stress-related tensions and imbalances. Please ask about insurance coverage; I will bill insurance providers for a limited number of cases.
Sports injury, Deep tissue, Therapeutic and Swedish Massage, Reflexology, Specific injury: acute and chronic.
I have been an LMP for seven years. I have always been interested in science, the human anatomy and its structures. I was an athlete in college where my interest in injury increased from working in the training room on other athletes and my own injuries as well.My massage tends to focus on deep tissue, trigger point therapy with range of motion and specific injury treatment. I enjoy incorporating different modalities to suit each and every person who comes to see me. I am also a certified power pilates instructor. I was raised here on Orcas Island and feel very blessed to be back home. I look forward to working with everyone!
Trager, Swedish Clinical Treatment, Deep Tissue, Reiki
Orcas has been my home since 1980. I enjoy being with people through the healing arts and also as a nature guide, cook, seamstress, and knitting instructor. My commitment is to growing love and compassion and greater appreciation of all life.
Therapuetic Massage, Deep Tissue and Injury Treatment, Swedish, Relaxation, Prenatal Massage, Reflexology, Energy work
I studied pre-med and environmental sciences in college and have always been fascinated by the human body and health. In 2007 I graduated from the Brian Utting School of Massage, which is known to have one of the most comprehensive and thorough massage therapy programs in the country. I combine this in-depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology with a deep reverence for the emotional and spiritual aspects of each person I work with. I weave together specific, deep, technical skills with a nurturing and compassionate fluidity. I combine massage, breath awareness, guided relaxation, stretching, yoga and take-home exercises to provide a unique and holistic experience for my clients. I especially love to work with people who are experiencing chronic or acute discomfort, recovering from injuries or surgeries or those who are going through challenging times in their lives. I am passionate about preventative and complementary healthcare and am dedicated to helping each of my clients find their own unique path to well-being.
I am also a Birth and Postpartum Doula and teach Doula trainings around the Northwest. I love supporting and empowering new mommas and families. I provide prenatal and labor support as well as postpartum services.
I moved to Orcas Island in 2004 and have fallen in love with our simple yet dynamic island community. When I am not doing bodywork, I love to spend time in nature, in my garden, practicing yoga, dancing and traveling.
“Erin’s intuition is miraculous. Her ability to tune into your body’s needs and stresses, physically and energetically, is therapeutic in ways that no other massage therapist I have seen previously has come close to. To call what she does “massage’ is too limiting; it is simply and profoundly “healing”. She is a healer.” Ryan Strunk -social worker & psychologist, Seattle WA
“This woman affects a magical healing in her work. Her focus on every little piece of you is so intense and wonderful. Erin is a healer and continues to make my wrist feel better and better.” Kathy Collister – teacher, Eastsound, WA
Therapeutic, Swedish and Deep Tissue Massage, Sports Injury, Prenatal Massage, Reflexology.
I enjoy providing healthy, nurturing massage to my family and my community. My massage can help you decompress and will reinvigorate your body on emotional and physical levels. My hands will provide a thorough therapeutic and relaxing treatment tailored to your individual needs, including a range of modalities; deep tissue massage and foot reflexology, to injury treatments and pre-natal massage.I moved to Orcas ten years ago. In 1998, I graduated from The Port Townsend School of Massage and began practicing on the island. In 1999, I became a practitioner at the Healing Arts Center. In addition to massage my hands are getting dirty pulling weeds and planting, knitting, spinning and crafting. I enjoy a full life with my family and I am happy to be here on Orcas sharing it with such a supportive community.
I have been studying and practicing Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine since 1978.My studies have taken me to Australia, China, and the United States.I was licensed to practice Acupuncture in Washington in 1987.Since 1988 I have been living on Orcas Island maintaining practices on Orcas Island and in Friday Harbor.
Naturopathy, Botanical medicine, Nutritional and Orthomolecular medicine, Stress management, Cranio-sacral Therapy, Therapeutic Touch.
Dr. Carol R. Vincent-Hall, N.D. received her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in 1995. She has been in practice since 1997, and has been practicing on Orcas Island since 2002. Dr. Carol believes that healing has everything to do with trust. She holds that the true person in charge of your health is you. Healing is a team effort. The doctor is teacher, advisor, and diagnostician. The patient is the true person in control of their health.Dr. Carols practice consists of general medicine. The modes of treatment she offers include nutrition, botanical medicines, counseling, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients found to be useful for supporting and maintaining health. She also offers visits which are exclusively cranio-sacral therapy.
On our staff we have an astrologer with over forty years experience in Person-Centered astrological guidance toward self-knowledge, decision-making, and the timing of personal and practical matters. Call to make an appointment: 376-4002
Our Fall Healing Arts Fair took place on October 2324, 2010. However, several practitioners who were not available that weekend offered coupons, good through the end of November,for their services, which were available at the same low fair rates of $25/half-hour and $45/hour. Practitioners donate their time, and all the money raised from a Fair (and the coupons) supports the Healing Arts Center. Some of these coupons remained at the end of the fair. Please check with the Healing Arts Receptionist about the availability of sessions via coupons.
Raise the Roof Raffle: The Healing Arts Center is currently selling tickets to a fund-raising raffle. The purpose of the raffle is to raise the needed funds for a new metal roof for our historic downtown Eastsound building. Tickets are $20 each or a book of 6 is $100. The grand prize is 12 treatments from your choice of Healing Arts practitioners; the second prize is 6 treatments, and third prize is 3 treatments. Over 20 bonus prizes of single sessions with particular practitioners are also offered, bringing the odds of winning a substantial prize to better than one in 30. Tickets are available at the Healing Arts Center from the receptionist or from any Healing Arts practitioner. The drawing will take place November 18, 2010. Prizes are fully transferable and may be used as gifts or donations to other nonprofit causes.
The following Glossary explains many types of holistic treatments. Many, but not all, of these modalities are currently offered by Healing Arts Center practitioners.
Acupuncture,one of the main forms of therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), originated over five thousand years ago. Acupuncture restores health by removing energy imbalances and blockages in the body. Practitioners of TCM believe that there is a vital force or energy called qi (pronounced “chee”) that flows through the body, and between the skin surface and the internal organs, along channels or pathways called meridians. There are over a thousand acupoints within the meridian system that can be stimulated to enhance the flow of qi. Qi regulates the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical harmony of the body. When special needles are inserted into these acupoints (just under the skin), they help correct and rebalance the flow of energy and consequently relieve pain and/or restore health. Chinese herbal formulas, dietary changes or exercises are often prescribed to help support the acupuncture treatments.
Acupressure is an ancient healing art that uses the fingers to press key points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the bodys natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the bodys life force (sometimes known as qi or chi) to aid healing. Acupuncture and acupressure use the same points, but acupuncture employs needles, while acupressure uses the gentle, but firm pressure of hands (and even feet). Shiatsu is a well-known Japanese version of acupressure. (Also see Jin Shin Do Acupressure)
Aromatherapy is the herbal medicine practice of using the pure concentrated essential oil extracts of plants to promote health and relieve symptoms of illness. While very effective for a wide range of physical concerns, aromatherapy also has profound mental/emotional effects. The application of an essential oil formula may be as an inhalant or as an ointment or oil to apply to the skin.
Biokinesiology:”Bio” means life; Kines means motion. This non-invasive therapy is used to evaluate the health of the body. It can reveal information attained from the client’s muscles. The reaction of the muscles can indicate what a person’s body may need or want in nutrients, affirmations and acupressure points. The goal is to discover, prevent and correct possible energy imbalances.
Breathing Therapy:Breathing techniques are taught to help facilitate self-care and healing. Good breathing techniques can be consciously acquired. Many therapeutic benefits can be facilitated by deep breathing exercises. Breathing exercises help to regulate and harmonize various functions in the body, mind, and chi (qi or life-force). They can be used to help with relaxation techniques and pain- and stress-reduction exercises, and for specific conditions such as asthma, anxiety, depression, childbirth, etc. Breathing exercises can be found in yoga and during re-birthing modalities.
Chinese Herbal Medicine: the use of medicinal herbs or combination of herbs (also known as Chinese patent medicines) for the treatment of symptoms and conditions, and to help bring the body back into balance and/or well-being. Many of the patent medicines have been used for hundreds of years. These are combinations of herbs that have been found to influence the body back into balance. The basic approach towards making a formula is different from western herbalism. The combination of herbs chosen will not only treat the symptom, but will also address other parts of the body which may be affected by the underlying condition. Herbal Medicine is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Counseling:Providing advice and guidance to an individual.
Hot Stone Massage uses smooth, warmed basalt stones on the body to add the comforting benefit of heat and gentle weight to facilitate relaxation.The stones usually are laid on areas of the body while the practitioner uses both stones and the hands to apply massaging strokes to other areas. Popularized in spas over a decade ago, it is a treatment that brings a bit of the earth into the massage room.
Hypnotherapy helps with emotional, mental and physical problems. Through imagery guided by a therapist’s words, an individual is assisted to enter a hypnotic or relaxed state. The therapist helps the patient work through issues while the patient is in this state of relaxation.
Intuitive Reading:Readings can vary widely, but most often have in common the offering of life guidance or counsel by way of reading one’s energy intuitively. Some readings function by some form of divination such as tarot cards. Others are offered by way of a “medium” who is able to communicate with one’s spiritual guides or beings.
Jin Shin Do Acupressure combines gentle, yet deep, finger pressure on acu-points with simple body focusing techniques to release physical and emotional tension. Jin Shin Do promotes a pleasurable, trancelike state during which the recipient can get in touch with the body and access feelings or emotions related to the physical condition. This body/mind approach, performed on the fully-clothed client, is a synthesis of a traditional Japanese acupressure technique, classic Chinese acupuncture theory, Taoist yogic philosophy and breathing methods, and Reichian segmental theory. The client lies on her back on a massage table while the practitioner holds local points in tension areas together with related distal points, which help the armored places to release more easily and deeply. Jin Shin Do acupressure is effective in helping relieve tension and fatigue, stress-related headaches and gastro-intestinal problems, back and shoulder pain, eye strain, menstrual and menopausal imbalances, sinus pain, and allergies. Over a period of 10 or more sessions, armoring is progressively released in the head, neck, shoulders, chest, diaphragm, abdomen, pelvis, and legs.
Jin Shin Jyutsu:This modality is a Japanese form of acupressure. It involves a light pressure placed between 2 points until there is a release of restriction. This modality/therapy helps to bring the bodys energies back into balance. This will help promote a state of health and well-being. Jin Shin Jyutsu employs twenty-six “safety energy locks” along energy pathways that feed life into our bodies. When one or more of the paths becomes blocked, the resulting stagnation can disrupt the local area and eventually disharmonize the complete path of energy flow. Holding these energy locks in combination can bring balance to mind, body, and spirit.
Massage:Manipulation of tissues with the hand or an instrument for therapeutic purposes. This is an ancient remedy used by man. It has been known to be used in ancient China and India. It was also mentioned and described by Homer in 1200 B.C. and by Hippocrates in 460 B.C. Rubbing, stroking, kneading, and tapping are a few of the common movements used in this hands-on therapy. The physiological effects we experience with massage involve circulatory, neuromuscular, metabolic and mechanical vibration. Over time, many techniques and approaches have developed in the area of massage. A few methods are Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, Prenatal massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage, Aromassage, Lymphatic Drainage, etc.
Polarity Therapy, the art of stimulating and balancing a person’s flow of life energy, isrooted in Indian Ayurvedic Medicine. It is a holistic bodywork treatment often practiced on its own or along with massage, but in its fullest form also involves diet, counseling and exercises.Central to Polarity Therapy is the concept of a life energy, which is in constant pulsation from positive through neutral to negative poles, creating fields and energetic lines of force. Polarity, like the better-known Reiki and CranioSacral modalities, can be a gentle hands-on treatment with profound results not only on the physical, but emotional levels as well.
Psychotherapy,personal counseling with a psychotherapist, is an intentionalinterpersonal relationship used by trained psychotherapists to aid aclient in problems of living, andto increase the individual’s sense of their ownwell-being. Psychotherapists employ a range of techniques based ondialogue,communication andbehavior change and that are designed to improve themental health of a client, or to improve marital or family relationships. Psychotherapy may be performed by practitioners with a number of different qualifications, includingclinical psychology,counseling psychology,mental health counseling,clinical or psychiatric social work,marriage and family therapy, andpsychiatry.
Reiki is a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing. It is administered by a “laying on of hands” and is based on the idea that an unseen “life force energy” flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. If one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy.The Japanese word Reiki a composite of two Chinese words rei which means “soul or spirit” and ki which is “life force energy”. So Reiki is actually “spiritually guided life force energy.” It is a system of touching with the hands based on the belief that such touching by an experienced practitioner produces beneficial effects by strengthening and normalizing certain vital energy fields within the body.A Reiki session is most often given with the client lying fully-clothed on a table.
Reflexology: A natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands and ears and their referral areas within zone related areas, which correspond to every part, gland and organ of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes, the feet being the primary area of application, reflexology relieves tension, improves circulation and helps promote the natural function of the related areas of the body.. The ultimate goal is to help the bodys overall tone and the release of tension.
Shamanic Healing:a shaman is a man or woman who “journeys” in an altered state of consciousness. Shamanism involves a body of energy medicine rooted in various traditions. Shamanic healing is a practice based upon the belief that all healing includes a spiritual dimension. Shamans enter altered states of consciousness to communicate with other realms of reality. The shaman’s journey is to help the patient or community to rediscover their connection to nature and spirit. The balance the shaman tries to facilitate in an individual involves physical, emotional, mental and spiritual elements.
Sound Therapy/Sound Healing:The use of vibration by way of the voice or other instrument for purposes of healing. With roots in both science and and ancient tradition, sound has been used for thousands of years as a shamanic practice and is now growing as a powerful application of modern medicine. Results have included dramatic healing, the re-attainment of harmony and balance, pain reduction, stress reduction, relaxation, meditation, birthing assistance, increased concentration and medication reduction.
Structural Integration was developed by Dr. Ida Rolf over 50 years ago. It is a therapeutic modality whichfocuses on releasing restrictions in the fascia of the body, the sheets and sheaths of connective tissue found throughout the body. Deep fascial work finds contracted and tender areas, slowly, persistently and sensitively encouraging their release. The purpose of Structural Integration is to allow the body to be fluid, light, balanced, free of chronic pain and stiffness, and at ease with itself in the gravitational field. In essence, the technique assists recovery of the graceful and unrestricted movement we enjoyed in youth. Research has demonstrated that Structural Integration (aka Rolfing) can:
reduce chronic pain and stress;
create more economical and refined patterns of movement.
Therapeutic Touch is considered a healing meditation. It allows the therapeutic touch therapist to work with an individuals life-energy, usually without physically touching the body. It works well with most stress-related illness and seems to have a significant effect on autonomic nervous system symptoms. It is a method devised from laying-on of hands (but it is not laying-on of hands). It uses the hands to influence or direct human life energies to help or heal an individual.
Trager Approach: a type of hands-on bodywork in which the therapist moves the client gently and rhythmically, with no undue force. The approach uses light, gentle, non-intrusive movements to facilitate the release of deep-seated physical and mental patterns. The individual experiences the possibility of being able to move freely and effortlessly. The practitioner works in a relaxed, meditative state of consciousness. This state allows the practitioner to connect with the patient in an unforced way. Mentastics, a system of dance-like movements,may also be taught to the client to help them to maintain and enhance the sense of lightness, freedom, and flexibility basic to the Trager Approach.
Lomi-Lomi Massage: a unique healing massage derived from the master healers of Hawaii, it uses gentle and rhythmically flowing strokes.
Soft Tissue Release (STR) is a dynamic, highly effective technique that has an immediate and powerful effect on muscle tissue. It is a combination of movement and manipulation that is extremely versatile. The essence of this approach is a method of applying pressure to a muscle at the same time the muscle is being stretched. STR has a proven track record in correcting the soft tissue and neuromuscular factors that cause:
o Back pain, including sciatica
The Healing Arts Center is dedicated to providing space and support for holistic healthcare treatments and services for our community. We strive to offer valuable education and resources about holistic healthcare and wellness. The Healing Arts Center, located in Eastsound on Orcas Island, Washington, is well past its 20th year as the largest holistic health care resource in the San Juan Islands.
If you are looking for an alternative health care provider on Orcas Island, you can view biographies of our 20+ practitioners here. Our practitioners are fully licensed or certified in their field(s) of expertise. You will find a range of health services including many styles of Massage Therapy and Bodywork, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Energy Healing, Counseling services, Astrological and Tarot Readings and more. You may call us for further information or to schedule an appointment at 360-376-4002. We are centrally located at 453 North Beach Rd., Eastsound, WA 98245.
Healing Arts Center History
In her own words, Marlene Dickey has always been a person with good ideas. So in the summer of 1987 when she learned that a portion of the farmhouse that would become the Healing Arts Center (HAC) was for rent, she became excited about the potential of opening a healing center there. The building has historical significance in its own right. One of the oldest buildings in Eastsound, the former farmhouse on North Beach Road probably housed the phone company at one point and may have been the first doctors office in town.
So Marlene agreed to rent half of the first floor of the house along with the Annex. She and several friends worked on establishing it as a healing center and tried to get support for it, but its presence in the community was very low-key. After six months, it was clear that she needed more help and that she had to do something else to attract attention.
Marlene put up flyers around town, announcing a vision meeting at the Center, and on February 2, 1988, at least twelve people came. Sandy Sanders and Ian Van Gelder were among them. Others who began to participate in the very beginning and are still members, but who were not necessarily at that first meeting, are Mary Jo Ahern, Carol Jo Enge, and Vibha Golem.
In March 1988, a crucial second meeting was held. According to Ian, those who came to the meeting realized that they had to commit time and energy to running the center if it were going to survive. This initial group was responsible for establishing many of the core philosophies of the Healing Arts Center, and those ideas and beliefs have survived for twenty years. Thus, the Center was founded with the idea that it would be able to give something back to the community, that it would need the cooperation of all its members, that it would provide support and friendship for its members, and that it would be run with integrity, in a conscious and professional way.
The other factor which became clear from the start was that the HAC would need additional financial support. As a result, on April 1617, 1988, the first Healing Arts Fair was held. The Fair, which has continued to be the Centers primary fundraiser, allows members of the community a chance to receive treatments at a discounted rate. This popular event is still held twice a year.
That first Fair was organized by Kate Clark. Some time toward the end of 1988, she took the job of Executive Director, becoming responsible for setting up the organization and day-to-day operation of the Center. She maintained that position until December 1992, and remained a practitioner for a period of time after that.
In November 1988, Sandy Sanders became the first President of the Board, the only president who was not a practitioner. In those early days, Sandy was invaluable to the HAC, and she devoted herself tirelessly to insuring its success. She did everything from handling the finances of the Center (with the help of her husband Savvy), to buying massage tables for the treatment rooms, to making curtains for the windows. She even washed the sheets for the massage therapists in those early years.
Sandy also points out how generous the Orcas community was in those early years. Many individuals stepped forward and either donated goods and services or traded healing sessions for them. After only a year, the Center became self-sufficient; with continued help from the Orcas community, it has been that way ever since.
For Sandy, the concept of professionalism was very important. It was her dream that the Healing Arts Center would be granted non-profit status, and she was the prime motivator for working toward that goal. In May of 1990, the Center received its 501 (c) (3), largely due to Sandys efforts.
She stepped down as President in 1991, but remained very active until 1994, when she left to start a retail business on the Island. In 1996, she came back as a volunteer, and for years was one of the Centers receptionists. According to Sandy, When I came back after owning my own business, a paradigm shift had occurred. The Center had grown into a truly professional organization where the practitioners were running the entire operation. That fulfilled my original vision and hopes for it. Sandys many years of support of the Center will be always be remembered with gratitude.
In the meantime, in June of 1991, Michael Sky became the President of the Board, and sometime during that year, the Center began to operate as a consensus-based group, ensuring each member an equal voice. Community and cooperation remain very important factors in how the Center operates. Though it has grown from about twelve participants in 1992 to over twenty in 2010, the spirit of harmony among the members is still just as strong.
The HAC was more firmly established by 1992, and has continued to grow slowly and organically from that time forth. Ian recalls that it has been necessary to put a moratorium on new membership from time to time so that the Center would not expand too quickly. He says, It was important to manage the expansionary energy to find the center of gravity for the group. The community is the core of the Healing Arts Center. Within that there is the group of practitioners, with its own dynamic, energy and challenges.
Because of this atmosphere of cohesiveness and solidity, in 1995 when it was learned that the farmhouse was up for sale, the members were ready to consider purchasing it. After negotiating a price, and because of a generous loan from a private donor, the HAC was able to purchase the building in December, 1995. There was a celebration to commemorate the event in January of 1996, and in February the first mortgage payment was made.
At that time, the HAC continued to occupy only half of the first floor and the Annex. The income from renting out the rest of the building was still necessary for the Centers budget. However, just two years later, in 1998, plans were made to expand into the entire downstairs space and the existing floor plan was created. The renovation took about 18 months, and was done largely through the volunteer efforts of a team of practitioners headed by longstanding member Rick Doty. The new space was ready in 2000; and in 2003, the Center once again expanded to include the upstairs rooms. Since then, it has occupied the entire building.
When Michael Sky stepped down as President of the Board, Ian Van Gelder took over. After that Rick Doty had a stint as President, and the center was ably led by Jennifer Posada between 2005 and 2008. After that, Ian was once again elected to the leadership post. There has been a remarkable sense of continuity at the Center over the past twenty-two-plus years. There have been only five presidents in all that time. Many of the original members are still on board, and many others have been around for almost the entire time. The loyalty and commitment of these practitioners is infectious, so that new members also join with the same interest in cooperation, and with the same desire to ensure the success of the Healing Arts Center within the Orcas community. As Ian has said, The purpose of doing this healing work acts as the anchor for the Center.
In honor of our past and to celebrate our 20th Anniversary, in July of 2007, we launched a Community Outreach Program which included a series of lectures and demonstrations, rearranging the lobby of the Center to include a library and a place to read and relax, and the opportunity to use the Centers computer to research alternate healing modalities. We finally came into the new century with a website.
The Healing Arts Center Today
With some plateaus, there has been a continual growth curve since its humble beginning in 1987. The Healing Arts Center is still growing in a vital, vibrant way. In 2007 Ian reflected, Based on where weve gone so far, with the advantage of a twenty-year perspective, I can see how successful weve been. We can be proud of our evolution, especially from what it looked like in the beginning, and what its chances of survival were.
The Center continues to reach out to the community from time to time for support to maintain the historic building that houses our practices, so that it can fulfill our mission of providing a workplace for those who wish to share their skills with our island community. We were given, in 2010, a grant from the Orcas Island Community Foundation, earmarked as seed money for the replacement of our roof. In August 2010 we launched a Raise the Roof Raffle to generate a substantial portion of the necessary funds, offering generous prizes of healing modalities to the fortunate winners.
We invite all of you to explore, discover, or revisit the Healing Arts Center. What Sandy Sanders said a few years ago is, we trust, true for practitioners, receptionists, clients and community members: Even today, I feel welcome and happy whenever I walk through the front door. Experience the warmth the warmth and positive energy of the Healing Arts Center for yourself today!
The Healing Arts Center is dedicated to providing space and support for holistic healthcare treatments and services for our community. We strive to offer valuable education and resources about holistic healthcare and wellness.
You may call the Healing Arts Center at 360-376-4002 for further information or to schedule an appointment. Our receptionist hours are 10 a.m.3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If it is outside of those hours you may leave a message and one of our practitioners will get back to you as soon as possible. Appointment times are available 7 days a week. It is advisable to make your appointments at least one week in advance, especially if you want a certain practitioner, or simultaneous sessions for several people, though some massage appointments are usually available for same-day booking. Some practitioners may have a waiting list, and some modalities may be offered only on certain days.
If you are purchasing a gift certificate or would like to communicate with us via mail, our mailing address is:
Dr. Don Glassey | OfSpirit
Life energy, in the form of cerebrospinal fluid, flows within, through and around the body over three inter-related and interconnected energy systems that interface with each other. The three energy systems are, from a gross to a subtler and more refined level, the nervous, the meridian, and the chakra systems.
In the nervous system, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows within and around the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system) within a three layered “saran wrap” like covering called the meninges. It has been suggested that CSF also flows in the periphery of the body within the neuroglial connective tissue transportation system and communication network. Therefore, rather than ending at a cavity-like cul-de-sac at the place where the peripheral nerves exit the spinal cord (intervertebral foramen), the CSF would then circulate throughout the entire body.
In the meridian system, acupuncturists physically trace the life energy (chi/ki) by palpation as it flows within the connective tissue of the body. Radioisotope studies in Russia and China have confirmed the pathways in which (chi/ki) circulates. The framework of the connective tissue is composed of microscopic tubules called collagen fibrils. It has also been suggested that CSF may flow through this microcirculatory system in the connective tissue via the tubular passages (lumina) of collagen fibrils, and that theoretically “chi” and CSF are one and the same.