Business

Ground Floor: Cedar Rapids entrepreneur restarts her healing business

Taking a 'healthier approach to life'

Teri Studer owner of Awaken Vitality, 777 11th St. in Marion, Iowa, performs an assessment using the VOILA Method on Amy Bishop of Mechanicsville, Iowa, during a therapy session at the holistic healing studio Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Studer uses discs, containing carbonated metal to amplify electrical frequencies the body already uses to function in order to treat ailments during Amino Neuro Frequency therapy. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Teri Studer owner of Awaken Vitality, 777 11th St. in Marion, Iowa, performs an assessment using the VOILA Method on Amy Bishop of Mechanicsville, Iowa, during a therapy session at the holistic healing studio Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. Studer uses discs, containing carbonated metal to amplify electrical frequencies the body already uses to function in order to treat ailments during Amino Neuro Frequency therapy. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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MARION — Ten years ago, Teri Studer was working as a corporate program manager and, she said, her “soul was dying inside.”

She was newly divorced with a young child at home and, for more than a year, had been suffering from migraine headaches due to injuries from an automobile accident.

One Friday at lunch, a co-worker asked what she would be doing if time and money didn’t matter. She replied that she would become a massage therapist.

“Why aren’t you doing it?” Studer recalled her co-worker asking her. And in response, she said, “I rattled off all the limiting beliefs and excuses I had been using for years.”

But that afternoon, she went back to her desk and starting researching massage therapy programs.

“Two hours later, I gave my two-weeks’ notice,” she said.

That decision to quit her job led Studer down a path of spiritual awakening and ultimately to her own business. She opened Awaken Vitality Holistic Healing in Marion on May 1.

After leaving her job, Studer attended Carlson College and became a licensed massage therapist. She opened a massage therapy practice and quickly established a full-time client load, she said.

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But she discovered a disconnect between her approaches to work and to her own personal well-being.

“In my business I was taking a very left-brained, therapeutic medical approach to massage,” she said. “But in dealing with my own physical issues, I was seeking out spiritual healing and energy healing.”

Three years ago, Studer took a lengthy leave from her massage therapy practice to recover from neck and shoulder surgery. She used that time to align her professional practice with her personal beliefs.

“It was time to come out of the spiritual closet,” she said. “I shifted into a mind-body-spirit combination.”

In 2015, Studer became a certified practitioner and instructor in Theta Healing, a meditative technique designed to heal emotional trauma that manifests as physical pain.

“It addresses and clears negative energy and allows you to take a healthier approach to life,” she said.

In addition to offering individual Theta Healing sessions to clients, Studer began holding self-improvement workshops. Because she didn’t have enough room in the space she rented inside a barbershop for her massage therapy practice, she held the workshops at park pavilions, which were more economical than other venues.

Around the same time, she began looking for a location to move her practice but had trouble finding a suitable, affordable space in her preferred location of Marion. This spring, she moved into the building formerly occupied by Eclipse Trading Post after that business closed.

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The new location, with a large studio space and a therapy room, has allowed Studer to expand her offerings to include meditation classes, yoga, discussion groups and couples massage workshops.

She said Awaken Vitality’s ideal client is “the person who wants to live life and not just exist.”

“If someone is motivated to feel better and do better, I can empower them to bridge that gap,” Studer said. “At the end of the day, I want to know I made a difference in someone’s life.”

AT A GLANCE

Owner: Teri Studer

Business: Awaken Vitality Holistic Healing

Address: 777 11th St., Marion

Telephone: (319) 450-5202

Website: www.AwakenVitalityHealing.com

Know a business in operation for less a year that would make a good “Ground Floor”? Contact michaelchevy.castranova@thegazette.com

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