by Lynn Meredith
SYCAMORE—Whether you’re looking for a candle, gem stones and jewelry, or a healing herbal treatment, you will find a calming and peaceful environment at Serendipity, a holistic wellness and gift space in Sycamore at 1325 E. State St. Owner and practitioner Laurie Lipscomb has created a space that welcomes and comforts both customers and clients alike.
Lipscomb, a Northern Illinois University public health graduate, has been studying and practicing alternative therapies for over a decade. Through her own health issues, she found her way past traditional western medicine to Ayurvedic, the Indian version of Chinese medicine. Ayurvedic approaches health and wellness with nutritional, herbal and relaxation therapies.
“Things were going on with my health, and I wasn’t finding alleviation with western medicine. It was pills on top of pills. I started my own self-study. I eventually wanted to help people understand how emotions play into health, especially nutrition, which is not emphasized by most doctors,” Lipscomb said.
Her study took her to Kanyakumary in Milwaukee, a school that trains Ayurvedic practitioners. She studied the Ayurvedic system, herbs to treat pathologies and techniques such as Shirodara, a relaxing, full-body treatment where a steady stream of oil is poured over the forehead.
Interested in many different areas of health and healing, Lipscomb created a retail space where she can promote the things that helped her. The building on the east edge of Sycamore is deceptively small. Inside there is room for a retail store, a consulting room, treatment room and kitchen. There’s even a garden with fire pit where groups often meet. Serendipity offers workshops and classes such as a monthly Henna painting night with a local artist, chakra classes and healing with gem stones.
“I want to create a relaxing, not intimidating, atmosphere here. Most healing spaces try to mimic western medicine offices. It’s what our model is. I’ve found a huge key to (the client) having success is to feel safe. If you feel nervous, it hinders the process,” Lipscomb said.
Lipscomb said her clients first come to her as customers and come back to try her treatments. The store displays cases with jewelry that Lipscomb will custom bead, baskets of healing gemstones, books and aromatherapy.
“The stones are the biggest thing people come in for. There’s nowhere in the area where you can get these. People come in looking for gems to help with emotional and mental tension and to get rid of negativity,” she said.
Her treatment layers in different approaches using Ayurvedic herbs and bodywork that can help someone with issues other treatments have not helped. They can help with digestive upsets, hormonal imbalances, skin problems, pain and emotional issues. By looking at the client’s tongue, checking their pulse and even doing an Indian astrological chart, she can find where the symptoms are coming from.
“I always want to get to the root of it,” she said. “What I most strongly end up doing though is counseling. The classes have created a community of people. It’s surprising how many people are looking for that community.”
For more information, visit serendipity.holistic.com or call (815) 895-5500.
Photo: Laura Lipscomb of West Chicago stands in front of her unique business in Sycamore. Serendipity is a wellness and education center that specializes in ayurvedic (eastern/herbal) medicine and offers a wide array of treatments and services. Photo by John DiDonna