An Edge Interview with Kristen Scanlon, Duncan Metzger and Dr. Katie Fahnel
The Healing Loft does what medical clinics have done for decades. Practitioners who offer a variety of healing skills work side-by-side and, when conditions merit it, they quickly confer with each other, and refer outside of the practice to others who can benefit their patients. The only difference is that this is not a traditional clinic.
The three owners — a network chiropractor, a BodyTalk/AnimalTalk practitioner, and a gifted intuitive soul coach — have come together to create what they view as a model for future holistic clinics in America. Between them, they have the ability to care for body, mind and soul, and between them, they have hundreds of networked resources they can call on to help those in need. They offer their unique care under the same roof, during every business day, just like a clinic should — at the lofts at 2112 Broadway St. NE, just north of downtown Minneapolis.
“We were looking to create something that I’m not sure has been done in the Twin Cities area before,” says Duncan Metzger, an intuitive medium and soul coach who offers Energetic Empathy Chakra Balancing. “We are a holistic clinic, and we keep regular hours. It’s warm, yet structured.”
Kristen Scanlon, an animal communicator and certified BodyTalk/AnimalTalk practitioner, says the group has been told that there is not another center like this anywhere in the United States. “We had someone come in from Oregon who said, ‘You are creating a new parking spot in someone’s mind, because this has not been done before.’ We really wanted to raise the integrity in integrated health care — alternative health care. We also wanted a referral program where, if one of us couldn’t help a client right there in the office, we know someone who can.”
“It’s a doctor’s clinic,” she said, “but with integrative health care instead of Western medicine.”
The third partner, network chiropractor Dr. Katie Fahnel, said the initial plan was just for the three healers to share office space, but then they realized a shared dream of creating community. “We enjoyed having the opportunity for other people to rent space from us, to have a big open area where others could host different classes, whether it was dance or just people teaching different workshops. We are open to a lot of people coming together to create a conversion of energies.”
The three partners of The Healing Loft share a desire to help others in a very practical way, using modalities that have been proven beneficial.
Dr. Fahnel, a native of Mondovi, WI, was first exposed to alternative healing modalities while taking a nursing course in BodyMind Therapies, “just for fun.” She eventually turned her attention to chiropractic care, and then refined her studies to Network Spinal Analysis Chiropractic. Now a Doctor of Chiropractic, she is committed to staying on top of the latest innovative practices within Network and attends seminars on a regular basis, enabling her to provide her clients with the most cutting-edge techniques and the highest quality care.
Duncan Metzger’s former life was in information technology in the corporate world. A graduate with an MBA from the University of St. Thomas, he awakened to the role of intuition in his life and began taking classes with noted psychic, teacher and author Echo Bodine that allowed him to develop his skills and become a profession intuitive, empath and medium. Since then, he has been a student of Bel Marshall and became certified in energetic empathy, a healing technique that works with chakra energy fields. During a session, Duncan incorporates a variety of techniques and modalities and tailors his sessions to fulfill the needs of each client, a practice that has established his excellent track record.
Kristen Scanlon, a former music teacher, was a true skeptic when it came to animal communication. But over time, she has been revealed as an accomplished animal intuitive, a graduate of Animal University in Colorado and student of Mary Getten, Lena Swanson and Joyce Leake. After five successful years of practicing animal communication, Kristen began her study of BodyTalk and AnimalTalk, two non-invasive energy healing modalities that work by reconnecting the links within the body’s system of intracellular communication to obtain a faster, more efficient healing process. Now a certified BodyTalk and AnimalTalk practitioner after completing rigorous training with Jennifer Stelly, Karen Atkins and Loesja Jacobs, she has had great success in healing both animals and people.
The staff of The Healing Loft will launch a monthly program on Edge Talk Radio — a live podcast at 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month — on May 24. Listen by calling 1.714.364.4750 or listen online at BlogTalkRadio.com/edgemagazine.
On your website at TheHealingLoftMpls.com, you indicate that you want to dispel certain myths about integrative healing modalities. What are they?
Katie: With the structure and business model that we have, we are trying to connect more to mainstream people. We know and support the existing community here of people into metaphysical and spiritual and New Age type of practices, but what about the people who haven’t been exposed to integrative healing, or are scared of it or are really put off by the “woo-woo-ness” of it? We want to show that we are grounded, down-to-earth people and we all have very solid backgrounds in education and business. We are pretty well grounded in our bearings.
Kristen: We also want to dispel beliefs that some people have that alternative health care has to be separate from mainstream medical care. That’s why we embrace the term “integrative.” We integrate care that we offer into what the person is already doing. What we do slides in very well with surgery or seeing your psychiatrist, or whatever the case may be. It works very well with Western medicine, as well as the “New Age” stuff, the Eastern, the more metaphysical world.
And the intuitive arts, which Duncan is a part of.
Duncan: Yes, I have a very pragmatic approach with each client. I spend time trying to take the mystery out of it. I tell a client that we all have these abilities — and you do, too. I tell my client that only reason I’m sitting across from you is that I do this every day and practice. It’s not that I am any more or less gifted than anyone else.
Kristen: That is really key, because in my animal communication class, people ask, “Well, isn’t that a gift?” Well, yes and no. Everybody has it. And everybody can do it — everybody. It’s not magical. It’s just that some people, like Duncan especially because of what he does, have taken the time to practice this gift that we all share.
Duncan: I attract a lot of first-time clients who have never been exposed to it before with the atmosphere of the Healing Loft. With what we’re trying to do here, they are not intimidated.
For those who have not been to the Healing Loft, provide an overview of what the Healing Loft offers to the community.
Duncan: For practitioners, it’s a great place to work and we are careful who we allow to work here. We want people who have very much the same approach. It’s not a matter of what you do, but it’s more about what kind of person are you and what kind of integrity you bring to your craft. As for clients, it’s a very welcoming atmosphere, whether you’re a neophyte or more experienced with spiritual or metaphysical practices. You’re going to feel comfortable and we have a high level of integrity in the service we are going to provide.
Kristen: For the community, we’re a one-stop place. We service both people and animals, and we’re a pet-friendly environment. We’re also very careful about people who are allergic or who are afraid. And if I can’t help them, then perhaps Katie or Duncan can. We really have immersed ourselves in the community of practitioners and we have people that we are comfortable referring our clients to. We also rent space to people who are massage therapists, hypnotherapists, Akashic records readers, those who offer cranio-sacral therapy. We have access to anything you can imagine. If we can’t help you, someone can. We’re pretty approachable and we’re honest about being able to help, or not help.
Duncan: We continue to connect with people. We are very big with networking and finding out what you do and how we might work together. We’ve just taken a real concerted effort to reach out to other people.
Let’s talk a little bit about each one of you separately, if you don’t mind. Katie, why did you choose chiropractic as your path?
Katie: Well, in my other graduate training I was set to do lab work and be stuck in a lab all day. I did my internship and, although it had its fun points, I really did not like being closed up all day doing the same thing over and over again. So, on a fluke, I wound up taking a nursing class in Body Mind Therapy where we did a lot of massage and energy work. Something really profoundly touched me about the power of touch and putting your hands on someone, and being able to feel energy and heat moving through my hands and through someone’s body. So it was a natural marriage between my science background and this aspect of touch to go into chiropractic.
About halfway through chiropractic school, I discovered a technique called network spinal analysis. I shadowed a chiropractor in a small town in Wisconsin and just saw incredible things happen with people — really monumental changes. This guy was hardly touching people, not the cracking and popping that I was trained in. I thought, “Wow, there’s really something going on here because there’s not much input into the body, and yet the body is responding in such an incredible way.” So, I was sold.
Can you give the average person an idea of what takes place during network spinal analysis.
Katie: Sure. It’s gentle taps and touches to either end of the spine. It unwinds a lot of spinal cord tension. Initially when people come they feel more relaxed and are able to breathe deeper. Some feel like falling asleep. A lot of people describe like a melting sensation into the table. Then, the more you progress through care, the more you’re accessing your body’s own pathways to be able to connect to the greater spiritual aspect of yourself, developing a lot of connective and wellness strategies throughout the nervous system.
The end result is the same or different than traditional chiropractic?
Katie: Initially it’s probably the same, because a lot of people do report less tension and pain reduction, but you’re able to get more out of it because you can connect better to your own rhythms. You are able to get out of that place of victimhood into a very empowered state. This probably doesn’t sound very chiropractic, but it’s all about what’s innately there in your nervous system. We all have this power to tap into and find that transformative energy — a really beautiful, expansive, awakening energy — just by having a better connected body and a better connected brain.
Duncan, what led you here to what you’re doing now after a career in information technology in the corporate world.
Duncan: I had a kind of a spiritual awakening while going through a couple things. One was recovering from alcoholism and I’ve been sober for seven years. Also, my mom passed away in 2007, and I remember taking a leave of absence from work. I was having a hard time grieving. I remember a friend of mine showing me the Tarot cards and it was very interesting. I’ve always been kind of a skeptic, but I was amazed and was getting sold on it. So I went to buy a Tarot book and ended up with a book on the small still voice within, A Psychic’s Guide To Using Your Intuition.
Echo Bodine’s book.
Duncan: I was fascinated. It’s like I’ve always felt like I had intuition. I’ve known things, and I didn’t know quite what to do with that. I didn’t know who Echo was. I had no clue. But I learned that she taught classes in Minneapolis, and I couldn’t wait to take her class. I started getting accurate readings with people, and I was like, “This is a way I could really help people.” I’ve had friends tell me that, “You always seem to know the right thing to say when they are going through a tough time.” That’s part of what I do. I call it Soul Coaching.
I’m still a healthy skeptic, because I think you have to be, otherwise you’re an untethered balloon. So, I bring that pragmatic personality to working with clients. I’ve always been a spiritual person, I’ve always been a helper, giver type personality, and I was not getting that in the corporate world. I wasn’t feeling, and I felt very disconnected. I’m very much a people person. I ended up being mentored in energetic empathy, a chakra healing technique developed by Bel Marshall.
Can you give us a little more description of what energetic empathy is about?
Duncan: Energetic empathy is using your empathic abilities to tap into the different chakras, literally feeling what the person is feeling or getting through visual. I tend to be clairaudient, so the chakras literally speak to me. So the process is part reading and part healing. A lot of information is stored in our chakra centers. I work with energy, light, guides and angels to bring that healing, but most of the healing comes from the client themselves. It is a cooperative process. My emphasis is that you get help with your physical while dealing with your psychological and spiritual.
So, Kristen, what led you to where you are after originally studying music education?
Kristen: Well, my sister had a cat that got lost. He didn’t come home. Ten days had gone by and she called and said, “Oh, I talked to this animal communicator and they told me that he is fine, he is not in pain, he is safe, he is in Spirit, it didn’t hurt.”
And I’m thinking, “You could have called me and paid me the same amount of money to say the same thing.” That seemed so generic. “Yeah, he feels fine and he’s happy.” You know, whatever. I thought it was a bunch of hooey.
You thought anyone could have made that up.
Kristen: Yeah, I could make that up, too. You can pay me that $30 or whatever she was charged. So she said, “Fine.” We have this little competition going on between us, and she said, “Fine, I’ll prove it to you.” When my cat died, it was a very traumatic, and I went through it by myself. My mom called me to tell me what the communicator said. I was driving, and I was thinking, “Yeah, whatever.”
I ended up having to pull over in my car because I was crying. The communicator gave me information that nobody else would have known. My sister lives in Seattle. I live in Minneapolis. My mom’s in Bismarck, ND, so we are not even in the same cities, let alone knowing how I interacted and what exactly went down in that emergency room. The cat was very specific.
So I thought, “Hmmm. Well, it’s kind of cool that the animals can talk, but can they really?” I was still really skeptical. Then, Mary Getten of Seattle, who had written several books, came to Minneapolis and was teaching a two-day class on animal communication. My sister said, “You’ve got to take this. Mary is awesome. You’ve got to take it.” So, I took it.
The first day I was horrible. I didn’t get anything. I thought, “Whatever. Don’t you even go back the second day, because this is so not even real.” I went back and the second day the process was instantaneous for me. My connection to the animal world was so instant and so accurate. I thought, “Hmmm, there must be more to this.”
So over the years I just kept studying and practicing. Until a couple years ago, I was in the music education field. I really did love teaching kids music, but I found that I was really drawn to the animals a lot more. I started animal communication as a business versus just doing it for my own benefit.
At the same time, I was seeing a kinesiologist and chiropractor, and I always thought what he did was really cool because he uses the muscle checking and kinesiology to get answers from my body. At the same time, my mom kept saying, “Kris, you’ve got to check out this Body Talk.” I didn’t even know anything about, but learned that you can do it on people and animals. I signed up for a seminar right outside of Milwaukee and by the second day, it was like a fish to water. It was just easy, simple, I was flying through all this information. It came just naturally to me. I became certified, and I did Body Talk on anyone and everyone who would let me do it on them, and I even did it on animals. Tali, our office manager, had a cat with a hip issue. She would fall over every couple of steps. So I did a quick 30 seconds of Body Talk, and within 10 minutes, the cat was walking normally. She could lie down. Her leg didn’t stick out. She jumped up on the bed. It was only 30 seconds of tapping and I knew there was something there. And that’s how I got into it.
What happens during Body Talk session?
Kristen: A client lies down on the table and doesn’t even have to be awake. I do muscle checking and follow a chart involving the organs, glands, body parts, chakras and meridians, and environmental factors and allergies. I ask the body yes and no questions to find out where the communication in the body has broken down. I had a client who had emotion release of anxiety held in her ankle and once I tapped that out and balanced it, she does not have any walking issues anymore. We call it linking. I say, “Okay body, the liver now needs to talk to the right kidney and the right kidney now needs to talk to the neck and the neck now needs to talk to the thymus,” and I tap over the head and silently say, “Okay, brain wake up, pay attention, connect these things.” Then I tap over the heart and say, “Store this in the body and fix yourself. Remember what the brain did. Now you’re going to tell the rest of the cells to do that.” And the body literally fixes itself. So, the most famous quote in Body Talk is “When the body talks to itself, it heals itself.”
Body Talk was developed about 15 years ago. It combines all of the Eastern medicine as well as the Western medicine. John Veltheim, a chiropractor, acupuncturist in Australia, had Epstein-Barr virus. It was getting to the point where he could hardly work anymore, and he ended up in New Zealand. A colleague, knowing this, said, “There’s an aboriginal tribe here that they are willing to do this funky thing on you if you are willing to let it happen.” And he said, “Yeah, I’ll do anything at this point.” And he had what is now known as the Body Chemistry Technique. He had a fever of about 104 for about three or four days and then he woke up and it was gone. It was completely gone. He went back to the aboriginal people and asked to learn more, and they agreed to let him develop the technique and teach it to others.
What are your intentions for the center now and moving forward?
Kristen: We want to create a space for practitioners and clients to come in and create a community, and bring awareness and our high integrity to integrative healing. We also have products here on consignment. We sell different things from people within the community, including artists who make things by hand. We have jewelry, dog beds from Northeast that are eco-friendly because they are made with recycled material.
Duncan: We’re concentrating on the Twin Cities now, but that’s going to expand, especially with our ability to do some of our work over the phone. We’d also like to take some of our workshops and make them available for people on the internet. Right now, we want to work mainly with our home base right now in the Twin Cities.
Is there anything that we haven’t talked about the Healing Loft that you would like to add or let people know about?
Kristen: We’re here!
Katie: Stop in and say hello. You don’t need an appointment to come and talk to us. Just come and say hello and find out what we do. We’re open.
The Healing Loft is located at 2112 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis. For more information, please visit thehealingloftmpls.com or call 612.208.1408, or email [email protected]. Listen to their podcast Live At The Loft at 7 p.m. every Monday at www.blogtalkradio.com/thehealingloft.