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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Gayatri Center for Healing: Hands and Hearts that Heal

Jan 30, 2012 08:59PM ● By Beth Davis

Lynne Austin & Jacque Stock

A fervent desire to facilitate healing is the central force behind Gayatri Center for Healing, motivating its founder Lynne Austin and her business partner, Jacque Stock. The professional careers of both have always involved helping people, but their mutual desire to learn and practice natural, more therapeutically effective techniques is what led them to each other.

While she was employed as a registered nurse in a hospital, Austin recalls, “It seemed there was never enough time to show the respect and consideration so many patients deserved.” Searching for a new direction, she was inspired to become a massage therapist in 1990, beginning a career in alternative healthcare that was better suited to her personality. “I can do more with my hands and touch than I ever did as a nurse,” she says.

Austin spent the next few years learning and experiencing as many of the healing arts as she could—from massage therapy and Reiki to shamanic healing, an ancient tradition that involves connecting with the spirits of nature. Knowing nothing about the tradition, she went on a shamanic vision quest—a search for the visions in one’s life that will heal the person and make them whole. After this initial, powerfully moving shamanic experience, her passion for helping others to heal continued to grow.

In 1995, Austin opened Gayatri Center for Healing to help individuals not only recover from chronic pain, but also reconnect with their true self and heal from heavy emotions and old wounds. She offers healing modalities that include bodywork, energy work and sound therapy; plus spiritual and shamanic healing.

After opening, Austin received an intriguing introductory letter from acupuncturist Jacque Stock, offering a complementary treatment session. Upon their first meeting, they were amazed by the similarities in their personal and professional journeys.

Stock spent more than 20 years as a substance abuse counselor, including training and supervising other counselors. Working with people that struggled with all types of addictions, she learned to look at each individual holistically—taking into account the interactions between their physical, psychological and spiritual situations.

Stock was introduced to acupuncture through a county-funded program intended to assist substance abusers with detoxification, withdrawal symptoms and cravings. She was invited to an open house to experience acupuncture firsthand but was skeptical. “I couldn’t believe, let alone understand, how the insertion of a few needles would make me feel better,” she recalls. However, with some encouragement, she decided to check it out.

“We are both so passionate about giving back as much as we can and helping people improve their quality of life.”

Amazed by how good she felt after just one treatment, she kept going back. “I was a believer, and I just knew that I had to learn more—I wanted to do this,” explains Stock. Soon, she enrolled herself at the Midwest College of Oriental Medicine, in Racine, Wisconsin, where she trained in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), including acupuncture and other modalities. She learned that TCM is a holistic system of diagnosis and treatment, addressing a person’s physical, spiritual and mental dimensions—an approach she had already integrated into her work as a counselor.

While she pursued her degree, Stock was the manager of the prevention department of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), working specifically with the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA) and Street Outreach teams. While there, she witnessed acupuncture successfully reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for drugs, alcohol and tobacco during detoxification, and noticed that addicts became more receptive to therapy because of acupuncture’s calming effect. Despite loving what she did at ARCW, Stock knew she would eventually discontinue the job to practice acupuncture and TCM full-time.

To facilitate the transition, she sent letters to local allied health professionals, introducing herself via a free trial acupuncture session—the magical action that led to her meeting with Austin. For about two years, Stock rented space from Austin part-time, until she finally resigned from ARCW and joined Gayatri Center for Healing on a full-time basis.

Their connection turned out to be more than just parallel journeys; they share a boundless enthusiasm for helping and healing. “Lynne and I have the same belief system,” comments Stock. “We are both so passionate about giving back as much as we can and helping people improve their quality of life.”

“Being a witness to somebody changing and finding themselves is so powerful,” concurs Austin.

Location: 675 Brookfield Rd., Brookfield. To contact Lynne Austin, call 262-860-6021. For Jacque Stock, call 262-860-6020.

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