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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of February 13 - 19, 2002


Changing face of healing

Express Staff Writer

In the 1970s we had racquet clubs, while in the 1980s aerobics centers sprang up everywhere. The fin de siŤcle years of the 1990s gave us the ubiquitous athletic clubs. Now in the new millennium, holistic healing centers are the synergistic way to be fit, healthy and happy.

Parents and children prepare for a Soo Bahk Do lesson at The Gateway in Hailey. Express photo by David N. Seelig

Fortunately, we are on the curve with this one, since we have long been home to many alternative healers. Bringing them together under one roof has been the aim of several of these practitioners in the valley.

In that vein, martial arts instructor Oliver Whitcomb built and opened the Gateway in Hailey in 2000. And last fall, Numinosity was opened in Ketchum by an acupuncturist and an analyst, who hope to combine their areas of expertise with those of other healing art practitioners.

"Itís amazing to have the opportunity to house activities that relate to martial arts to help people feel better," Gatewayís Whitcomb said.

Using his own Sawtooth Martial Arts as the base, Whitcomb brought in several other practitioners to lease out space in the new building. Classes are held in spacious, energy filled studios, with state of the art equipment and training surfaces. Locker rooms and showers compliment the facility.

Whitcomb, who has trained in the Korean art of Soo Bahk Do since 1979, is a nationally certified, master level instructor.

"Itís a full service holistic healing and training center," he said. "Itís got synergy. And we all have similar philosophies," though each business is run separately.

Among those sharing the space is The Lotus Clinic, where Lisa Litner does acupuncture and Chinese herbology. Anita Maloney has Spectrum, where she does hot stone massage, facials, Reiki, and other therapeutic body work. Pilates training is handled by an old friend of Whitcombís from Colorado, Franz Kopp.

Also, Anne Anderson teaches yoga in the new bamboo yoga studio in the basement that Whitcomb built this past year, Tamra Thorne does CMT therapy, Terry Potts offers sports medicine, and Heather Hansen is teaching Butoh, a Japanese moving meditation. One can also find drum circles held in the evenings, and various workshops are regularly held with visiting guest teachers.

Though each practice has its own area they share a common lobby, a sunny Zen-like space with a slightly earthy Asian feel. In the summers, a Zen garden is opened and, soon, special teas and tinctures will be offered. A receptionist in the lobby handles calls, and sells simple cotton yoga togs.

In fact, going into Gateway is so soothing itís hard to tear oneself away. And thatís just the point.

"Thereís something going on seven days a week." If martial arts isnít youíre thing, Whitcomb said, heís added an aerobic kick-boxing workout using some of the principles of martial arts, without the regimen required. Parents, with kids in Soo Bak Do, have been known to take Pilates or yoga at the same time.

"Itís reverse day care," Whitcomb said.

"We feel confident that we can take care of 90 percent of peopleís concerns."

In Ketchum, Numinosity, which is having its official grand opening Saturday evening from 6-9 p.m., offers a variety of healing practices under one roof. With a spectacular view of Bald Mountain, and open and sunny windows, itís located above the Anam Cara Gallery, with an entrance in the rear on Sun Valley Road.

According to one devotee, Andrea Friesen of the Friesen Gallery, "I literally walk in, take my shoes off and three hours later leave a new person. Itís one stop shopping at its best."

It offers massage therapists, acupuncture with center co-founder Cally Huttar, Jungian Analysis with the other co-founder Diane Crist, massage therapy, group meditations, Feldenkrais Method work with John Vladimir, Qi Gong and Tai Chi, cooking classes with nutritionist Daniella Chace and classes with Piccoloís chef Lauren Carr.

Their large and sunny yoga studio is "The nicest room in the whole wide world," said Friesen. "A roaring fire, youíre doing yoga, itís snowing outside, how cool is that?"

Huttar and Crist began investigating the idea of sharing space with other practitioners several years ago. When the space became available last year, they made their move, unofficially opening last fall. The name Numinosity means, "A sacred transformative space that integrates and heals mind, body and soul," said Crist. The concept emerged when the two of them, who had offices next door to each other in their old locations, began sharing informationówith a patientís consentóabout that personís needs. The idea is to perfectly fit treatment to other alternative treatments, and to look for means for whole body healing. It seems to have worked so faróthere is a palatable sense of camaraderie and connectedness at Numinosity.

The opening Saturday night will bring several of these aspects together. Fletcher Brock will provide music, and thereíll be a dancing demonstration by Brianna Rego and Numinosity yoga instructor Nan Cresto.

"Itís just all these people doing different things now under the same roof, but connected with this beautiful thread of body, mind, spirit," Freisen said.

"You feel it when you walk through the door. I appreciate the efforts of everyone involved in bringing it to the community."


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.