VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK - Camelia Hightower and her fiancé, Skip Thomas, opened their Sedona wellness center to make holistic healing accessible for everyone.
"Just by simple relaxation or by teaching people to sit down, relax, breathe in and out consciously for some minutes, you already lower you level of stress," she said.
Originally from Romania, Hightower's desire to heal came out of helping her mother deal with the emotional and physical challenges associated with being deaf. She met like-minded people while working as an interpreter and gemstone buyer.
In addition to her doctoral degree in metaphysical science and counseling, she is a licensed hypnotherapist and aesthetician. She's also licensed in Reiki therapy and Qigong, which combines meditation and exercise.
"I'm more into the scientific side of everything," Hightower said. "I grew up in Romania with a scientist father, so I like to be able to have tangible proofs for the people."
The 4 Points Healing offers facials, massages and a variety of natural therapies to "address the four main pillars: Mind, body, soul, and heart.
'Modern medicine accepts and embraces the fact that we are absolutely in balance and harmoniously functioning with the four main pillars."
Hightower said there are many places for spiritual wellness in the Verde Valley, but she wants to change the perception of metaphysicists as "new age-y people waving crystals, wearing sandals, doing yoga and being vegetarians."
To do this, her center is combining paid services with free classes open to the community and tourists. One class will focus on relaxation and body movement.
"How many women have the opportunity to just breathe and dance?" she said.
After moving from Tucson where she worked for 15 years, Hightower sublet a space at another wellness center in Sedona. She soon left and began renting in another building when the business owners suddenly closed.
"I was sitting at home thinking, 'what's the message? What am I supposed to do? I'm tired of putting my eggs in someone else's basket to hold,'" she said. "And then the answer was so obvious: Hold your own basket."
The manager of the plaza that she had just moved out of sent her an email asking if she'd be interested in renting. She didn't take out any business loans, but received help from friends and family.
Her fiancé encouraged her to open the business despite her trepidation over a lack of business knowledge, and agreed to help by taking over the marketing side of The 4 Points Healing.
Hightower populated her shop with her own collection of products. She'd had the desire to open a wellness center and gallery for 25 years.
"Furniture, fixtures, they were just in the garage, stored. I had all my crystals, handmade jewelry, I had all my jewelry display cases," Hightower said. "I invested my money in things that would last and be, one day, of service."
Prices vary, but are about $80 for a full hour treatment and 40 percent off for month of July.
The 4 Points Healing is at 6446 SR 179 in the Village of Oak Creek. Call (928) 284-0753. Visit www.the4pointshealing.com.