‘Rising Holistic’ | Healing, wellness center opens
- Published: December 21, 2022
On a recent Monday afternoon, Cliff Street seemed still, even with its proximity to downtown. That stillness extended to 144 Cliff St. — though a swift and rigorous transformation has been taking place inside the building: In early December, villagers Jessica Holihan and Shaun Craig opened a new location for their holistic arts practice, Rising Holistic, in the 1,800 square-foot facility.
Over the course of several weeks, Holihan and Craig have worked night and day to turn the former office and industrial space, which previously housed the carpentry and repair firm Bushworks, into a haven for wellness and healing practices. The building’s foyer now displays soothing colors, punctuated by work from local artist Tony Powers. Its interior rooms are decorated in differing styles and colors, but all are, in their own ways, cocoon-like: dimly lit, warm and quiet.
“What’s important to me is that when you are here, there’s nothing else,” Holihan told the News during a recent tour of the renovated space. “It’s like you’re away from everything that exists in reality and you’re just here to be immersed in an experience.”
That experience, according to Holihan and Craig, is on track to include such services as massage therapy, hypnotherapy, sound bath healing, aromatherapy, meditation, yoga, astrology, tarot and more from a variety of practitioners. Holihan and Craig, who said they were best friends for years before they eventually became a couple and then married, run Rising Holistic as a team: Craig managing the business, and Holihan as a practitioner.
Until Rising Holistic opens to more practitioners beyond Holihan, who has been practicing holistic healing since 2018, the couple said the business is open by appointment only.
In the future, however, they said they envision Rising Holistic as an all-inclusive locus for those who are interested in alternative healing and wellness practices. The husband-and-wife team said, in their experience, folks are often drawn to the village by its reputation as the site of a “healing vortex,” but that it can be difficult to know where to go and what to ask for.
“I heard somebody close to us say that a lot of people come to Yellow Springs expecting healing — but then they just end up at the bar, which isn’t the experience they were hoping to have,” Craig said. “What we’re trying to do is create a space where people can go for actual healing modalities, but also for events centered around that idea. So they don’t necessarily have to go to the bar — they can come here and have a great time.”
To that end, Holihan and Craig are currently working to transform the building’s large back room into an events space, which Holihan said might host anything from open mic nights to classes to art exhibitions to spiritual gatherings — anything that might nurture positive, communal healing experiences.
“I want people to come here and know that when they do, they will be accepted and loved and welcomed with open arms and find something that’s fun, creative and healthy to do,” she said.
Though Holihan and Craig worked quickly to transfigure Rising Holistic’s new space, the journey to Cliff Street has been a long one: After working for several years in property management in Fairborn, Holihan found that her heart wasn’t in the work.
“I was managing apartment complexes, and you have to be pretty detached and not care about a person’s situation to do something like an eviction — it was really hurting me inside,” she said. “And so I just thought, ‘Well, what am I going to do for the rest of my life?’”
Holihan said her inroad into holistic healing began with massage when she was a child; her father has had a number of back surgeries over the years, and she would rub or walk on his back to alleviate stress and pain. As she grew up, she began giving massages to friends at their request.
“I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t know how to do it in the proper way,” she said, and after leaving her job in Fairborn, she began studying massage therapy techniques. In 2018, she received her license, and the same year opened her business from the home she shared with Craig in Yellow Springs.
After a few years, Holihan and Craig were ready to move the business outside of their home — and then COVID brought her practice to a halt for eight months. Once the state lifted restrictions on massage therapy practices, the couple made a “mad dash” in late 2020 to find a space to continue Holihan’s work. That November, Holihan moved into a Corry Street space with another practitioner — a professional relationship that, she said, “ended badly.” She left behind all the equipment she had acquired for the space, as well as the investments of time, labor and money that she had put into renovation, and moved to The Healing Center on Xenia Avenue, where she operated for the next nine months.
But the goal for Holihan and Craig was always to have their own space, and they continued to search for a new Yellow Springs home for Rising Holistic, without much luck.
“Honestly, we were completely losing hope,” Holihan said.
Then, in October, Holihan spotted a classified ad for the Cliff Street space, and on Halloween, met with building owners John and Eliza Bush. Holihan said she immediately connected with the space.
“I had tears in my eyes — I knew this was going to be everything I needed it to be,” she said.
The Bushes, whom Holihan discovered were acquainted with her family, agreed to rent the space to the couple on the spot — and Holihan and Craig’s weeks of whirlwind work began soon after. After the loss of many of their assets when the Corry Street location closed, they were starting from scratch — but Craig said friends and neighbors came to their aid, donating furnishings and decor items.
“People knew the struggle it took for us to get to this moment and reached out with textiles, wares and labor — it’s been really cool,” he said.
Holihan said she hopes to take the community-infused kindness that helped Rising Holistic transition and give it back through her practice.
“I want people to be able to come in here and, if you need anything — even to lie on the floor and roll around — this is a place where you can do that,” she said. “I want this to be a reflection of my heart and soul.”
Rising Holistic is open by appointment only at risingholistic.com; the business is currently open to accepting practitioners of all healing and wellness modalities. A grand opening event is slated for spring 2023.