Q&A: Jo Currier from Ways to Wellness

Ways to Wellness in Midland takes a full approach to health, offering classes and educational material for members of the community for mind, body and spirit. Founders and owners Jeff and Jo Currier are passionate about the downtown area, and eager to introduce alternative approaches to health. We caught up with Jo to talk about holistic wellness, retreats and working in the Downtown Midland community.

Q: How did you find your way to this calling and business?

A: My husband Jeff and I are Michigan natives and we were transferred to California for Jeff’s job, and transferred back a number of years later. Our daughter ended up coming down with debilitating migraines. We did everything we could possibly do: followed every doctor and suggestion, but nothing was changing. A friend in California suggested a holistic wilderness environment.

Our daughter spent over 40 days high up in the mountains where she learned about things like meditation, yoga, organic and vegetarian foods, native american medicine wheel. The times she spent in this process allowed her to detoxify and to heal. It was so profound that Jeff and I started doing yoga.

Then in a yoga class one day, I learned more about reiki. Things unfolded to the point that it was almost like a red carpet laid out before us and we ended up opening a small space on Ashman. Within a year and a half we outgrew it. Our vision was to offer energy services and products that were a little foreign to the local community. Now we offer stones, natural soaps, essential oils, meditation practices, education about mindfulness, and different things that help people begin to change their thought process. Our mission is to help people think well, live well and be well.

Q: What is reiki and what can it be utilized for?

A: It is an energy practice that’s considered a relaxation and stress reduction technique that had a resurgence in Japan in the 1920s. Reiki found its way to the United States via Hawaii. It’s incredible and can be used for anything. The practitioner simply acts as a conduit for this wonderful positive, loving energy that’s all around us. Some call it the universe, God, whatever word that you’re comfortable with. That energy can make a difference in your life. We gently put hands on top of your head, shoulders, ankles, or not depending on the person’s comfort zone.

Practitioners are sending energy for that person’s body to use. We guide it, but we don’t control it. It puts our brain in a light meditation stage. It’s that place that allows you to observe thoughts, feelings and emotions without judgement. That’s why it can be so amazing, when we get out of our thinking brain, your body knows what to do.

It works for everything -- physical health, anxiety, stress, bringing goals to fruition, changing behavior and more.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being in Downtown Midland?

A: The opportunity to see so many people! At the core, there’s this hometown feeling that’s inviting and welcoming. That’s why we stayed downtown; we wanted to be on Main Street. With the recent streetscape renovations, we now enjoy the nine extra feet of sidewalk. In the summer we’re going to start having special guests and classes and make these sidewalks an extension of all the fun!

Q: Where should someone new to reiki/spirituality/energy work/etc start these practices start?

A: It depends on what someone is looking for and what their comfort zone is. For some, it starts on social media; others it means having a conversation; and others others it means taking a class.

We have a wealth of classes and there isn’t one place to start. It needs to be what is drawing you. For us, it’s about providing the information about why this works.

Q: Can you tell us a little about the women’s retreat you recently hosted? And how often do you host them?

A: We had 22 amazing women! It was an opportunity to come together and be in community, support each other and create an environment for women to rest and restore.

We had many guest presenters that gave talks around several different topics. We also did what we call a reiki share; we did a drumming circle and had an amazing sharing session. I cannot imagine it going better! We are definitely planning more for the future.

Q: When you're not in the store, what is your favorite thing to do to relax?

A: I’m a nature girl! I love to be camping, hiking, kayaking, near the lakes in Michigan, searching for rocks. My husband Jeff is a geologist, so he can usually tell me what I find out in nature.

To learn more about the classes and services that Ways to Wellness offers on their website or storefront to learn more about what they have in store for 2018!
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