Editor's note: This is one of an occasional series about Central Kentuckians who practice medicine outside of the mainstream — using nutrition, exercise, herbs and other integrative treatments.
BEREA — Joanna Juzwik, eyes closed, gestures with her hands as if wiping at an invisible dirty window.
In a way, she is. She is trying to move aside the psychic clutter and see an aura, the energy field that practitioners say surrounds the body and is invisible to the naked eye. This is what she does at her office at Berea Healing Arts, a collection of alternative health and wellness practices.
Juzwik is not a medium; she is not here to help you seek your late grandmother's advice on your new boyfriend. She is careful to limit the energy she releases via an intricate series of grounding moves. At the end of the session she leans over from her chair and touches both palms to the ground as a way to move back into the moment.
Her title is "intuitive consultant." She tells you what she sees your spirit projecting into the space around you. This can include information about life path, relationships, coping with the death of a loved one, dream interpretation and the needs of the body and spirit, such as insights on physical illness and sleeplessness.
"My work is being tuned into the spirit realm," Juzwik said. "That's when I can get in touch with people's spirits and see the energy around their bodies."
Juzwik, married and the mother of two, works out of an office at Berea Healing Arts, down the street from Berea's iconic Boone Tavern. Her office is sprinkled with tendrils of green frondlike fabric spilling off the ceiling, and potted plants are abundant.
How do you become an intuitive?
"I've been a very sensitive intuitive person my whole life, but a lot of that is blocked off," Juzwik said.
She received training from an area psychic. "That's where I got my basic training to see intuitively, to maintain good energy boundaries."
The boundary part is important. Juzwik wants to be able to see your aura, but she does not want the various energies she sees to get mixed up with her own.
"What we want is for our spirit energy to fully inhabit our body," she said. "We want our own energy to be taking up our space."
The problems she hears about vary. One client came to her seeking help with tension between her and her 18-month-old child, to resolve the child's need for independence with her own anxiety.
But sometimes a client already has a toe dipped into alternative healing and needs a tune-up to complement other therapies.
"A lot of my clients come to me because they are already on the path of healing," she said.
Juzwik closes her eyes during a session, but she does not go into a trance, nor will she predict the future.
Intuitive consultations are not the sort of thing she does randomly while walking down the street, Juzwik says. Her readings are a matter of intense focus; she says that she can do two, maybe three, in a day before becoming emotionally exhausted.
But she can tell you what your aura shows about you and those around you, and what "black spots" might be holding you back.
"If we don't deal with the blocked energy, it will show up in the body" as illness and aches, Juzwik says.