Wellness is a 4.2 trillion dollar global industry: As the world becomes more crowded and stressful, more people are becoming open-minded to an expanded approach to healing.  Three wellness businesses have recently opened in Downtown Long Beach and have become part of the thriving Long Beach healing community. Each has its specialties but all three share a common wellness mission.  

“In the healing community we believe that places like this are important,” said Sanja Oropeza, founder and owner of KEVALA WELLNESS AND AYURVEDA, 115 Pine Avenue, Suite 330. “It’s not a luxury.  It’s something we need to maintain balance, especially in the world today where we’re so disconnected and with so much stress in our daily lives.”  

Oropeza was studying Psychology in college when she watched a family member go through an ordeal with prescription medications.  This experience moved her to pursue other methods of healing, beyond western medicine. She enrolled in massage school, which opened up doors to more healing modalities.  When she discovered Ayurveda, the ancient medicine system from India which calls upon the mind, body and spirit, it felt like she was “home.”  

Kevala Wellness and Ayurveda functions as a wellness collective:  There are currently eight practitioners working in the relaxing and inviting space, offering expertise in such healing techniques as theta wave meditation, sound healing, Reiki (energy healing), clairvoyance and visionary consulting.

Kevala offers many workshops and classes, including yoga and kirtan, a powerful group call-and-response mantra chant.  

“We want to help people maintain high vibrations,” said Oropeza, “because that’s what we need right now.”  

THE SALT LOUNGE at 853 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 102, is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of Wesley and Tanai Holder, whose journey to the wellness business took them around the world. 

The Holders, who met nine years ago while on spring break in Miami, forged a high-powered existence in Las Vegas but knew something wasn’t right.  

“We both worked for Fortune 500 companies, we had our dream income…..On paper we had everything we wanted,” said Wesley.  “But,” added Tanai,”we were stressed out, tired and unhappy.” 

The couple sold their belongings, packed their carry-on bags and traveled the world, learning about other lifestyles and nurturing their healing instincts (both are wellness coaches and Reiki masters).  

Back at home and rebuilding their lives, they put two Himalayan salt lamps in their room and soon noticed some changes.    

‘We noticed instantly how the vibe changed when we lit them,” said Wesley.  “We slept better at night, our stress levels improved. Then we started eating with the Himalayan salt and noticed increased energy levels.”

The centerpiece of the Salt Lounge is indeed the Himalayan salt:  Guests can relax in the salt room, where huge, back-lit salt panels create a soothing ion shift.  Salt-infused soaps, candles and oils are available too. But it is the sense of fellowship and community in the Salt Lounge that the Holders value most.  The Holders and various guest healers conduct classes and workshops which include sound healing, yoga, full moon meditation, and aura photos.   

“We wanted to create a space where there’s good music, great vibes, but most importantly you feel good afterwards,” said Tanai.   “When you feel good, that’s when you can turn your day around.”  

Shawna, who owns and operates SHINE YOUR HEART HEALING at 324 Elm Avenue, helps her guests go deep within to get to the source of problems.  Shawna is licensed in Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique, which is based on traditional hypnosis technique but goes much deeper, even accessing past lives to get to the source of trauma.  

“It’s real therapy in that we are really looking at where that trauma is hiding in your body or what it’s connected to,” said Shawna.  

Shawna, from Dallas by way of Denver, had a retail and healing shop on Broadway Avenue before moving to the Elm Avenue location last month.  The new shop is dedicated to healing: Shawna’s retail shop is now exclusively online.

The majority of Shawna’s clientele is there for her hypnosis, but she is also a certified yoga instructor and a Reiki master who conducts guided group meditations.  

“It’s about self-discovery,” Shawna said.  “The more time you spend going within, the more things you find in the outside world that open up to you:  opportunities, higher vibrations, things that align with what you’re desiring in this life.”  

“We’re not here to suffer,” she added.  ‘We’re here to thrive. But we’re also here to learn.”  

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