Today: 17.08.2018
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Where rich New Yorkers go to get their auras cleansed.

In a city with skyscraper-high stress levels, people will try anything to relax — even if it’s a little out there. Some of those anxious city dwellers turn to Deborah Hanekamp, owner of Space by Mama Medicine. The 35-year-old describes herself as a “seeress,” or someone who can see people’s auras. And New Yorkers’ auras, she...
Time: 10:19     Date: 16.05.2018
US Living News: Where rich New Yorkers go to get their auras cleansed. NY Post 24 - US News

Some of those anxious city dwellers turn to Deborah Hanekamp, owner of Space by Mama Medicine. The 35-year-old describes herself as a “seeress,” or someone who can see people’s auras. And New Yorkers’ auras, she says, are pretty bogged-down.

“It’s so intense here,” the mother of one tells The Post. “The more disconnected from nature we are, the more stressed out we tend to be.”

Hanekamp, who grew up in Connecticut, describes her childhood as tumultuous and traumatic. But that changed around the age of 17, when she started practicing yoga. It worked wonders for her body and mind, Hanekamp says — and drove her to study other forms of alternative healing.

She performs some of those today at her Soho studio, including individual and small-group aura readings, healing ceremonies and sound baths.

Complementary and alternative medical therapies like the types Hanekamp practices are scientifically controversial. Although “scientific evidence exists” for some types of therapies, such as acupuncture and yoga, most lack supportive research, according to the Mayo Clinic. Doctors are wary to recommend them to patients.

But that doesn’t deter Hannekamp’s deep-pocketed clients, who pay anywhere from from $108 to $1,250 for her services. (An upcoming Mama Medicine retreat in Italy starts at $2,000 before flights.)

Think of it as an investment, Hanekamp says: “You come here to work with me to get the tools you need to be your own healer. Then it’s up to you to do the work.”

Hanekamp’s had some guidance herself. She spent a decade-plus trailing shamans, healers and alternative medicine gurus throughout Thailand, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Peru. For months, she went on a “dieta,” an Amazonian herbalist tradition wherein “you go to live in a hut open to the elements of the jungle, fasting and taking on the energy of a specific plant” — some psychotropic, such as ayahuasca — “for your healing and balance.”

She decided to put down roots in New York City five years ago, when her daughter was born. Her Soho loft, which opened in 2017, is buzzed about for its “medicine reading” ceremonies — “full sensory” experiences “combining sound and crystal healing, energy balancing, intuitive reading, and spiritual guidance,” according to her Web site.

At a recent medicine reading ceremony, Hanekamp welcomed a dozen people, including me, into her Soho space, which was dimmed for the occasion. Guests were handed smoky quartz crystals and told to lie down on infrared beds (according to Hanekamp, they help relieve pain and tension).

Then Hanekamp read the energy of the group. “I sort of listen for what it is you need me to say, and then I say it out loud,” she says.

She deemed our energy a bit “restless,” sensing uneasiness and uncertainty in the room. Her “reading,” or prescription, for us was “patience.” She suggested we imagine we were plants, receiving sunlight and growing slowly but surely — not “screaming to grow,” but taking our time.

Deborah Hanekamp prepares a bath.

Holding that nature metaphor in mind, we were instructed to breathe rapidly with our eyes closed. Hanekamp sprayed scented oils in the air around us before playing crystal bowls (almost like wine glasses) and singing “the Icaro, or the medicine songs of the Amazon . . . calling in plant guides, animal guides and all of the different spirit guides.” It’s an invitation, she says, for “that energy to come into the room.”

She had us repeat the Icaro after her to end the ceremony.

Then, we were given spiritual homework: To sing to and “make an offering” to a plant and to brew up a ritual bath with flowers, crystals and herbs.

Baths, it turns out, are one of Hanenamp’s favorite prescriptions to write.

“It shows people that they can do all of this healing on their own. Most of us have bathtubs, and it’s not totally unfamiliar,” she says.

“It’s not like I am telling you to go into the forest naked and hug a tree — although I think that would be really good for you to do.”

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