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Warriors of Wellness - Relax and rejuvenate at The Healing Tree Natural Wellness Studio

The body heals itself best when it can relax, but in today's fast-paced, often chaotic, society, finding the time or the means to relax can be a daunting task. Few know this better than Maggie Jamieson-Seal.
Maggie Jamieson-Seal, a natural healing practitioner, recently opened The Healing Tree Natural Wellness Studio in Oxbow.

The body heals itself best when it can relax, but in today's fast-paced, often chaotic, society, finding the time or the means to relax can be a daunting task.

Few know this better than Maggie Jamieson-Seal.

As a single mother for many years, she worked a lot of jobs and eventually became burnt out. She began dabbling in the science of natural healing and the benefits she saw within her own body and her own life led her on a journey to share this knowledge with others.

"I've always been interested in natural remedies [and] natural healing," Jamieson-Seal explained. "It became a passion for me and [I saw] proof [of its positive benefits] through working it for my own self and my own healing in my own life for different things."

Jamieson-Seal began learning about various types of natural healing back in the 1970s, but it wasn't until recently that she had arrived at a place in her life that allowed her share her knowledge and help heal others.

"I've been into this type of thing most of my life, and I've come to the point in my life where I have the opportunity to officially train and get certified," said Jamieson-Seal.

Receiving her certification in 2006, she then set out to begin working out of her home. Any spare time she could find, was spent renovating the new building she bought in Oxbow with the intention of opening a place of complete relaxation where people could come and heal naturally.

Her hard work paid off about four months ago when she was finally able to open the doors to The Healing Tree Natural Wellness Studio.

The Healing Tree is a place where people can come to relax so their bodies can begin to heal themselves.

"It's all about deep relaxation," Jamieson-Seal explained. "The body heals when it's in a relaxed state. De-stressing and deep relaxation - that's my goal here."

Jamieson-Seal set out to open The Healing Tree with a goal of helping people to relax, especially because she knows first hand its importance in aiding the body's healing process.

"I went into this and thought, 'People deserve this. Life is too short to be living in that stressful, bogged down, diseased way," she said.

Due to the nature of the treatments - the fact clients require a certain quiet and stillness to relax - Jamieson-Seal works by appointment only. She offers a wide range of healing options including, reflexology, Ayurvedic massage, Ayurvedic spinal rejuvenation, Ayurvedic scalp rejuvenation, reiki, hot stone therapy, ionic detox foot bath and essential body detox.

All the forms of natural healing of which Jamieson-Seal is a practitioner, are meant to induce a deep state of relaxation, which helps the body heal itself.

Hot stone therapy involves the use of hot oils and volcanic stones which are heated and applied to the body in specific spots.

"I oil the body down and then the stones are applied to the body at certain locations where the stress may be built up," said Jamieson-Seal. "The stones are also massaged over tight muscles [or] old injuries. It is very therapeutic. Deep, deep relaxation and deep healing takes place and a meditative state comes with that treatment."

Ayurveda is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent. It is practiced in many other parts of the world, such as Canada and the United States, as a form of alternative medicine.

"I first came in touch with Ayurveda in '05," Jamieson-Seal recalls. "It intrigued me right off the bat. It's Sanskrit for the 'science of life,' and it's the oldest healing therapy known to humankind. It's been around 8,000 years or so. Before anyone wrote things, this was all passed down by word-of-mouth and teaching through family. It was a way of life."

"I was swept off my feet with it right away - the whole way of life actually," she continued. "But what I'm focusing on are some massage therapies that I actually studied in Nepal when I was over there. I went over there to study some Ayurvedic. I did study in Calgary for some basic Ayurvedic as well."

Ayurvedic massage has many benefits including, rejuvenation of the spine, increased blood flow, deep relaxation, increased cerebral fluid flow, reduction of headaches, reduction of brain fog and increased memory.

"The Ayurvedic head massage has many of the same benefits," said Jamieson-Seal. "It also includes a massage on the face, so it increases relaxation of the face. Tight lines and tension just wash away with the facial part of that massage."

Another form of healing offered at The Healing Tree is the ionic detox foot bath.

"Ionic detox foot bath, I recently started that since I moved downtown actually," said Jamieson-Seal. "That removes toxins like heavy metals."

Jamieson-Seal opens her wellness centre to clients four days a week by appointment.

"Mondays I travel to Sunset Haven [in Carnduff] or out to the Villa [in Oxbow] or around to people's houses who can't get out for reflexology."

"One week I go to Carnduff in the morning and the next week in the afternoon, so I alternate," said Jamieson-Seal. "If I have a morning when I don't have to go to the Villa and it's a Carnduff afternoon, if someone needs an appointment, I slip them in. So sometimes I'm here for one or two appointments on a Monday, but not very often."

Marilyn Harder of Carnduff also works out of The Healing Tree on Thursdays. She offers another form of healing to clients.

Harder is a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner and a Healing Touch for Animals Practitioner.

Healing Touch "promotes deep relaxation, which really is the basis of self-healing," Harder explained." It's useful for relieving pain [and] speeding recovery from surgery or illness."

She received her certification in 1996, but only recently began pursing it at a higher level.

To learn more about Harder's method of natural healing, be sure to pick up the Dec. 10 issue of the Observer where she will be featured in the "Warriors of Wellness" series.

Both women have been interested in natural healing for many years, and have watched as more and more people have also taken a more active interest in alternative healing methods.

"People are looking for something different," said Jamieson-Seal. "Even over this past four years I've seen a huge increase in interest."

"There's a definite change in public perception of natural things, as people are looking for alternatives to surgeries, medications or things that will help along with them," Harder added.

Since opening the door to The Healing Tree, Jamieson-Seal and Harder said the response from people in Oxbow and the surrounding communities has been wonderful. People have been dropping in simply to see what there is to offer, and the knowledge of The Healing Tree has therefore been growing.

"It's been going fabulous," said Jamieson-Seal. "People are so excited there is a natural healing centre in town and in the area. My clientele has definitely picked up since I moved downtown, and it's only been three months. I was busy before, but now it's very steady."

And steady is good for the once single mom who was always on the go.

"I'm not about being busy, busy, busy," said Jamieson-Seal. "I'm about helping people and steady."

She takes great pride in being able to help others live a healthier and stress-reduced life, and she knows in order to help others she needs to ensure she is also caring for herself.

"I [have] become very aware of how important it is for myself to stay well, balanced and to stay in a caring, giving mindset," she said. "I have to be balanced as well to do that or I am not as helpful. I'm not as giving, I'm not as caring and I'm not as helpful if I don't take care of myself. So we go to other practitioners to ensure we are balanced."

Jamieson-Seal and Harder have both met many other great natural health practitioners through their work, giving them a real sense of belonging to a community.

"I get a real sense that there is a definite community of natural healers building in this area coming together to work together," said Jamieson-Seal.

"A lot of people are reaching out to see who else is out there," added Harder.

Since The Healing Tree is a place, not just of natural healing but, of deep relaxation, everyone can benefit from one of the wellness centre's treatment.

"Everyone tends to be very stressed in this day and age," said Jamieson-Seal. [Everyone] tends to be toxined with food preservatives, [and the side effects of ] medications. There is a time and place for medications - I don't mean to say they are unnecessary. [We are toxined by] air quality being in an oil production area - the toxins from the flare stacks, we are breathing that in. We have two dams, two power plants [and] air quality is not the greatest."

"But if there was one group, to be more focused, I would have to say young single mothers, because I walked that path and I know the struggle that can be," she continued. "It really helps the whole family if the mother is calm and at peace and healthy. But not minimizing the fact everyone can benefit from natural healing."

As it is with many natural health practitioners, there is always more to learn, therefore Jamieson-Seal dedicates much of her time to continued education.

"With education, I am continually upgrading and learning more," she said. "In February, I'm going to study with Deepak Chopra, who is a very famous healer. I'm going to Vancouver to study with him, and in July I'm going to Whistler for a second part because my journey is taking me to do my training in Ayurvedic counselling. Over the last two years, I've been to Vancouver four times to study for the Quantum work. There is so much to this [natural health] field, it is never-ending. They all seem to overlap because it's the same energy whether it's reiki, reflexology or healing touch, it's the same universal energy that is in and around everything. It is just different ways to aid healing. The human body is the only thing that heals, and we aid in doing that."

"And the benefits of these techniques is they are non-toxic, not expensive, non-invasive, and they're gentle," Harder added.

Once Jamieson-Seal settles into her current venture, she has more goals for the future to further assist people in the healing process.

"Another thing I would like to get started one day are meditation groups and perhaps yoga groups," said Jamieson-Seal. "But that would be a vision I would have down the road."

In the meantime, she'll be focused on helping people to learn how to relax so they can become healthier in every aspect of their lives.

"There are a lot of people who don't know what relaxed is, and they don't know they are not relaxed until they experience they are relaxed," said Jamieson-Seal.

"And they don't know they could not have mind chatter, that their mind could be quiet," Harder added.

The Healing Tree Natural Wellness Studio is located on Main Street in Oxbow and can be reached at 483-7270. Jamieson-Seal and Harder both look forward to meeting and working with new clients.

"It's always been my vision since we started this to have this as a place of healing, safety, and discovery of the options - discovery of self-care through natural avenues," said Jamieson-Seal. "And [a place] to bring healers together as a group to build that energy and that healing atmosphere of support for the community and surrounding area. [I want] it to be a light for people to come to."

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