It was like a physical Morse code.
Kristen Scanlon slipped two fingers beneath my wrist, as if about to take my pulse, and jerked my hand up off my chest. First gently. Then not so gently.
“OK, this is a no,” she said, referencing a slight tug that left my hand limp on my chest. “This is a yes” — a more targeted pull caused the hand to spasm up into the air.
No sooner had I nodded my understanding, the interrogation began. Scanlon murmured questions under her breath, interpreting answers via the jumpiness of my wrist. Emotional release of the heart? Yes. Further details on that? Yes. Is it in the head, back or spine? No. Emotional release of anxiety? Yes.
She kept asking. My wrist kept answering. Dot–Dot–Dash–Dot.
I was lying on my back, two minutes into my first session ever of BodyTalk, one of the many esoteric therapies guests can try out at the Healing Loft.
Opened on Oct. 4 in an old dairy warehouse at 2112 Broadway St. NE, the Healing Loft gathers practitioners of diverse New Age specialties under one roof, allowing them to ply their trades in a collaborative setting. Staff practitioners include Duncan Metzger, a chakra healer and soul coach; Dr. Katie Fahnel, a holistic chiropractor versed in Network Spinal Analysis; and Scanlon, a BodyTalk specialist who doubles as an animal communicator. Renowned trance-medium, psychic empath and author Allison James rents a space in the Loft. And Sandy Krzyzanowski, a visiting practitioner leads yoga classes in a common area.
Want more options? A weekly “Sample Night” goes down every Thursday, when the Loft founders invite six or seven additional practitioners, working in a wide breadth of modalities, over to the warehouse for a low-pressure meet-and-greet with curious guests. A recent event promised Integrative Energy Therapy, Akashic Record Clearing and Fairy Readings.
What’s more, Loft practitioners can often team up on a client’s problem — anything from a protracted depression to a nasty case of eczema — attacking it with multiple modalities. The client gets a second and third opinion. And the practitioners get a level of support and camaraderie unheard of in an industry mostly populated by work-out-of-the-home psychics.
On “Sample Night,” $20 buys a 15-minute trial session with anyone in the Loft. The idea is to mitigate the most serious obstacle to getting people help: skepticism.
“Really, the only way you’re going to become un-skeptical is to talk to someone and then try it. So what we try to do on Thursdays is a very low risk way to do that,” said Scanlon, who worked as a music teacher before a surreal experience with a deceased pet exploded her own skepticism of animal communication.
Scanlon was so distraught over the death of her cat Max (“The hardest loss I ever had”) that her sister insisted on seeing a pet psychic on Scanlon’s behalf. A phone call from her sister relaying freakish specifics about Max — his place of death at a University of Minnesota facility, his particular health complications, the way he always curled up and slept on Scanlon’s right shoulder — was all it took to convince her. “I had to pull over in my car because I was crying so hard.”
A few classes and certifications later, she was negotiating with a spider on her ceiling to keep his arachnid friends out of the house.
The other Loft founders have similar stories. They all veered from traditional paths, spurred by slow awakenings and the real-life recession. Metzger, the chakra healer, worked as a software consultant for 16 years before losing his job and began seeking meaning with the help of psychics. Dr. Fahnel had a degree in biology and was destined for a dull career as a lab tech before she began to explore Reike, massage, chiropracty and, ultimately, Network Spinal Analysis — a holistic form of chiropracty using low-force touches, which sometimes leads to deeply felt spiritual epiphanies (“This is some really cool [stuff],” remarked Fahnel.) Even the office manager, Tali Daney, had a conversion; she was working at Macy’s when Scanlon helped her dialogue with her missing cat. The experience led to her hiring at the Loft.
Back on the BodyTalk table, I was told I needed to throw my feelings of being overwhelmed, which had been stored in my urinary system, into my diaphragm, which Scanlon called “the halfway house for emotions.”
“When we get stressed out, the body breaks down in terms of communication,” she explained. “Our complex internal systems, cells and atoms are in constant dialogue while we’re healthy. But they just stop talking to each other in times of stress. Especially during the holidays.”
So with my stress in my diaphragm, “We’re going to link that up to the large intestine. In BodyTalk, it’s important that those two are always talking to each other,” Scanlon continued. “Because [the large intestine] releases everything, right?”
Some more wrist Morse code and a head tapping ritual and my diaphragm was simpatico with the intestine — and my stress was ready to be expelled. The final step was simply finding a bathroom.
The Healing Loft
2112 Broadway St. NE
It was like a physical Morse code.