We talked to: Alchemy Healing Center
Hi, Leta! Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your business? What made you choose Northampton as a location for your business?
I have been in practice for more than 20 years, starting out in Belchertown. A number of years ago, I decided I wanted to be here in Northampton, as it’s fun, accessible, and vibrant. Our first Northampton clinic was on Center Street and State street (next to State Street Fruit Store) and we loved being in that part of Northampton. We have now been in our beautiful space in the Old School Commons since 2018. We continue to expand our clinic, both physically with renovations and by adding on new practitioners.
I truly feel that Covid has changed most of us, and many people are now more focused on health and personal growth. At the Center, we use acupuncture, acupressure, Chinese medicine, and Alchemy, to help people achieve more balance, awareness, and focus in their lives. At Alchemy Healing Center, we want to help people figure out how to get more out of their lives, which goes beyond just working, going home, and doing the same activities every day. Our new book, Through the Mystery Gate, focuses on the process of finding and walking your path, as does our podcast, Inspired Action. We want people to really think about themselves and what they want to get out of life. It’s okay to be a little selfish—to focus on yourself—as your other relationships will actually benefit from you feeling grounded within yourself and having clarity when it comes to your passions.
We currently have a practitioner training group, and people fly in from all over the world (when possible) to get treatments and train with us. We have a Master Alchemy Apprenticeship Program, which is a year-long program, followed by two subsequent years of training. The first year is pretty intense, consisting of treatments, weekly Zoom sessions, and retreats. It’s been going on for about five years now, and centers around the Thirteen Ghost Points, a famous alchemy treatment. The treatment is focused on helping people with past trauma or skeletons in their closets—we want them to “unhook” or release their past and understand what they really want, then go on to realize their full potential.
We want people to feel a sense of ease within themselves so that they don’t feel they have to claw their way toward their goals. It’s also about self-cultivation and tending your garden so that you can find your true self and attain a sense of joy and fulfillment.
What are some challenges you endured, and what are some positive things that you’ve learned/that have come out of the past two plus years?
Like most healthcare workers, we didn’t get a break during the height of the pandemic. We shut the office, but continued with telemedicine the next day. During the real tough times, it was hard. We were exhausted, and trying to take care of all of our people as well as ourselves. Since then, we’ve really been able to turn it into something very positive. Our clients are coming with deeper questions, not just basic needs. It’s an intimate way of talking to people to help them have better lives. It’s been difficult, but the Alchemy Healing Center has really brought that focus of helping people self-cultivate. We’ve learned that so many people have illnesses because they are subconsciously unhappy. When we work with them on an alchemic level, many of the mysterious symptoms and ailments start to shift.
We combine the Five Elements with alchemy, addressing who people are energetically. By understanding elemental energies, we can help someone be more authentic when they can’t figure out how on their own. Sometimes, it’s about releasing yourself from who your family expected you to be, and recognizing that you are your own person and have your own path to walk. We also work with couples who might be energetically out of sync, and help them learn how to honor and respect each other’s natural energetic differences. Jaye McElroy, with whom I co-founded the Healing Center, and I also wrote a book called The Energy of Love, which is very helpful for couples navigating challenges and learning to better understand each other.
As a business owner, what do you do to unwind/relax/rejuvenate?
I get to take part in regular acupuncture, massage therapy, and craniosacral treatments at the Healing Center, which is a huge part of my self-care. And because of my training over the years, I also know how to help myself instantly if I’m in a difficult place. During Covid, we really focused on teaching people how to help and support themselves, using acupressure points and herbal treatments to boost the immune system. We really want to empower our clients, as well as ourselves as practitioners, to learn these self-care treatments.
What are some exciting things that you have coming up?
We just launched the sixth season of our podcast, which is exciting. We have also been running various specials for new clients coming in, and our new book, Through the Mystery Gate was just added to Audible! Right before Covid, we expanded our space to nine treatment rooms, and we are currently bringing on some amazing new practitioners. There’s so much going on and it’s just a really energizing, prosperous time at the clinic.
Fun little new Q: what’s your favorite winter food?
I am in love with the congee at T. Roots. I have been to China several times, and I must say, T. Roots has some of the best I’ve ever tried. I also love their soups, but if I’m feeling under the weather, the congee is my comfort food go-to. I also regularly eat at Mosaic, Nourish, Paul & Elizabeth’s, and Oriental Taste. It’s so easy to eat pretty healthy, amazing food in this town!