If you want to have a happier, healthier life, Oamaru woman Sonya Ramsey has an easy answer.
“If I could recommend one thing to anyone, before food even, to change your life, not just a wee bit, but hugely, it would be meditation.”
Mrs Ramsey is one half of the pair who make up Out of the Woods Co. She and former nurse Kate Finn joined forces after lockdown to provide a “safe space for people to explore their true potential”.
Mrs Finn works with neurolinguistic programming (NLP) and hypnotherapy, while Mrs Ramsey works in energy healing.
The two women met at a mutual friend’s 40th birthday, and as they got chatting they realised they had a lot of common interests.
The pair then ended up working together at The New Zealand Whiskey Company, and a plan started to formulate.
“During lockdown that’s when we really started to visualise what it would look like, and what we would actually do,” Mrs Ramsey said.
Mrs Ramsey is experienced in reiki, a Japanese form of energy healing, and more recently has been practising reconnective healing.
“I was doing reiki from home and having good experiences from that, and then I saw a guy on YouTube actually, doing reconnective healing, which is similar, and I knew that’s what I was supposed to be doing, and I just dove into that and haven’t looked back really.”
She described the process as using light energy and information to give you what you need to bring a person into alignment.
“With reconnective healing, it’s quite specific as to how you can operate within that model, so I thought I’ll just call it energy healing. So it’s basically reconnective healing, but with my own spin on it as well.”
The feedback from her customers had been really positive, she said.
“Every person’s experience is so different. It’s really hard to put into words.
“Some people’s experience is soft, and then the next person, it’s really intense. Basically, you’re pulling through me exactly what you need.”
Mrs Finn’s specialty areas, hypnotherapy and NLP, gave people the tools to deal with the “negative behaviours”.
“Every behaviour is emotional. All behaviour is driven by an emotional need. If you take out the emotional driver for that, then that makes you more self-reliant, makes you feel more powerful, makes you feel more in control and more in charge of your own behaviour and your own life.”
Although their methods of helping people are different, they were similar in the respect that they were not prescribing anything.
“It’s holding space for people to find their own answers.”
They are currently running meditation classes for adults and children, and would eventually like to expand into workshops and retreats. Their ultimate goal is to find a premises where they could practice their skills, and have other alternative health workers come in.
The pair said Oamaru was the perfect place for their new business, and there was a wealth of talent for them to draw from here.
“All these tools are here, in wee old Oamaru. We’ve got some incredible people doing amazing things. If you want to reach out and grab one, they’re just right there,” Mrs Ramsey said.
Mrs Finn said they had to be mindful of what the demand was in Oamaru, and cater for that.
“Like meditation. We’re really passionate about it, but we haven’t found the following for that yet. But I believe it’s out there – we just need to get people to have a better understanding of what it is.”
She described it as a process of “going inward”, self-care, and an opportunity to connect with your body and your mind.
“The list of benefits for meditation . . . I would expect it to be prescribed by doctors,” she said.
Mrs Ramsey said it was the simple things that had the biggest impact on people’s lives.