At first, Robin Jackson began looking into holistic healing avenues to help her own family. Now, she's launched an Auburn business, Serenity Wellness, to share the healing she’s found with others.
After a car accident, Jackson said, her youngest daughter had debilitating anxiety due to post-traumatic stress and a mild traumatic brain injury.
"It was like someone turned the light switch off on her personality," Jackson said. "She was physically here, but personality-wise wasn't."
Jackson described her daughter, 13 at the time of the accident, as a straight-A student, an outgoing “leader of the pack” type of child. But after the accident, she had a hard time trusting people. Counseling, chiropractic care and acupuncture weren’t working. Jackson began homeschooling her daughter, and even joined a grief group herself to help cope with the loss of her daughter’s personality.
It was then that Jackson began learning about “energy healing and holistic avenues.” And now, Jackson said, reiki and cannabidiol (CBD) oils have transformed her daughter's life.
"To see how far she's come ... is amazing," said Jackson, who noted that her daughter, 18, will start attending culinary school in January. "As a mom, you want to be able to see your children flourish on (their) own. ... She's basically regained her life back."
Jackson has now been a reiki master for three years, certified in raindrop (essential oil) therapy for one year, and certified in aroma freedom technique for almost a year.
"I never intended to use (it) on others, just to help my own children," Jackson said. "I decided it was time to start sharing with others (that) there are so many options other than western medication."
On Sept. 28, Serenity Wellness hosted a grand opening and Jackson began sharing what she's learned through her family's journey with the community.
"I left with a very full heart," she said of the grand opening, adding that people offered a lot of positive feedback. "I definitely made the right decision in offering this to the community."
While Serenity Wellness has limited retail hours — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays — people can also schedule appointments throughout the week for reiki, essential oil therapy, aroma freedom technique, life couching and BioMat sessions.
Jackson said that in most cases, people who come in for natural healing products or a healing session will already be "below the wellness line." Once Jackson finds out what a customer's ailments are, the types of healing sessions will be based on both their treatment needs and their comfort level, she said, explaining that a lot of people may not yet be familiar with these forms of healing.
"A lot of these have the end result to heal the body and rejuvenate it ... (they) help people not just on a physical level, but on an emotional level," Jackson said.
She explained that aroma freedom technique largely uses essential oils and breathing techniques.
"Breathing techniques used with essential oils literally dissolve the bad memories," Jackson said, and replace them with a "positive affirmation" instead: "It can help someone get through trauma without reliving it."
Jackson said reiki, a healing technique that channels energy by touch to activate the natural healing process in someone's body, allows someone "to go into a deep state of relaxation" and helps re-balance their body and reduce stress.
BioMats, Jackson explained, "can help with anything from overall wellness to boosting the immune system" by combining gemstones, infrared and negative ions in a mat on which people lie. The length of the session and heat of the mat will depend on a person's ailments, she said. While it's good for overall wellness, she added, it's especially helpful for people going through chronic illnesses such as Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease.
Jackson explained that while western treatments like therapy can treat people emotionally, and physicians treat them physically, the treatment of the physical and emotional are always separate. But healing sessions at Serenity Wellness work at "connecting all the pieces" by joining the mind, body and soul together. Jackson said the goal of the sessions, as well as her business, is to help people feel their best and realize there are other options available.
Serenity Wellness' retail space, formerly a dance studio, has faux wood flooring and clean white walls with minimal artwork.
"I did look at other places, but they didn't have the energy this place had," Jackson said, adding it was the first space she saw. As reflected by the name, she wanted a place where people could walk in and "feel at peace," finding themselves wrapped up in a "very relaxing, comforting atmosphere."
Jackson said Serenity Wellness is a family business, as her husband, Tyrone, and her two daughters have helped it reach fruition. It also would not be possible, she said, without her team and business partners.
Crystal Pilat of Crystal Clear Life Coaching offers sessions by appointment, which Jackson said is a "perfect fit" with the other healing sessions she offers. Vin Gleason, who is a certified CBD distributor, also leads an illness support group at 6 p.m. Wednesdays.
In November, Serenity Wellness will have a calendar available detailing additional events, such as classes and workshops on essential and CBD oils, nutrition, guided meditation and yoga. Jackson said her own reiki master, Amy D'Angelo, will also offer energy healing and reiki certification classes.
"If I can make one person feel better every day, I feel I am achieving my goals," Jackson said.