Kathy Favata Holton is the owner of the Healing and Learning Center on Elmira’s Southside – 911 Pennsylvania Ave., Elmira, NY,14904. She can be reached at (607) 732-9911. Kathy has been in business for 2 years.
“We do all natural healing here. Everything we have here, we also teach people HOW to do it. We practice Reiki healing so we have Reiki classes where we can teach people how to do Self-Reiki. We use essential oils in some sessions. We have an essential oil class.
I facilitate the essential oils class. We can do drum healing, crystal healing, we have had classes on both of those by other practitioners. If I don’t have the skill I find a practitioner that has it and we bring it to the center”.
What’s been the evolution of your business? How did you get to this place?
I started by being very sick and the doctors were just making me sicker and sicker. I sought out alternative healing. I found a Reiki Master Teacher and she started giving me sessions and I immediately felt better. It did not cure me. It did not fix anything but it made me feel better. I continued with her until I learned that I could learn how to do this myself. Then I took a Reiki One Class, which allows you to do self-healing.
Once I started doing that, then I wanted to learn more. I went on to Reiki Two and eventually became a Reiki Master Teacher, so now I can teach. At that point I was teaching in my home. It started getting so busy and parking became an issue that we started looking for a building. I purchased 911 Pennsylvania Ave and I have been practicing here ever since.
Tell people what you did to the building. Did you have to do anything?
I did nothing. All we had to do was clean. The building had been fully renovated by the previous owner. All I had to do was come in and clean and decorate. It was really beautiful.
What’s been your greatest stumbling blocks, either personally or professionally?
Getting the word out about how effective Reiki can be. Getting more clients and students in here. To work on that we do a lot of hands-on events. Fairs, Health Shows, Healthfairs, the Veterans Stand down Clinic, Hospice, the bereavement groups.
How did you get hooked up with that?
I am a volunteer with hospice. I volunteer my time with Hospice patients and I give them Reiki. I have been working with the patients since I was a Reiki Two practitioner. It really helps them to relieve their stress. It helps with their pain management. It can be a wonderful thing. I have a patient right now that they called me in. He was imminently at the end of his life and 2 ½ weeks ago they took him off Hospice. He is with Paliative Care now.
Do people have any misconceptions about you or your business?
Yes. With the Business I keep getting calls about Kindergartners because it says Learning Center. People assume it is for children because apparently adults don’t learn anything anymore. I do a lot of education on the fact this is for adults. I have taught Reiki as young as 9 years old, but it is primarily for adults.
What is it they want?
They think I have children here so they think I can send them for other resources they have to offer.
Do people have misconceptions about you?
I don’t think so. At least not once they get in here and figure out what it really is.
If you could have a Do-Over on anything, what would you do differently from a business perspective?
I don’t think I would do anything different. I started small and the business is growing and it’s not growing so fast that I can’t handle it. So I think I have taken a slow and easy approach to this.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years.
Opening another center. I would like to have one in the South (the Carolinas, Georgia, maybe) and one in the West (maybe the New Mexico area).
And how would you operate them?
With good people around me. I am looking at these to empower people, Reiki practitioners, to come in and do their own work. That’s why it’s a learning center too. I just don’t want to do the work. I want to teach people so they can come in here and they can do work to their own clients here in the Center. When I began I had nowhere to work! So I was trying to do it on a couch or a floor. I had no place. So then I worked for a little while at a massage therapy place. I was at a skincare place and people didn’t just come for Reiki – looking for Reiki at places like that. So this way it is a natural healing center and this is where they can come.