Press Release from Motherlode Holistic Connection

Written by Gwen Johnson of


Date: September 30, 2010

Media Contact: Brandy Astwood (209) 304-8495 or

Photos available upon request


Motherlode Holistic Connection in historic Jackson challenges the economic downturn. After a year of successful operations, the center celebrated its one-year anniversary with an open house Sept. 25. The member practitioners who offer services at MHC are proud to claim they have been successful despite the recession.

“I have as much work as I would like to have,” said Susan McMorris, one of the member practitioners of the group.

Motherlode Holistic Connection is a consortium of individual entrepreneurs that specialize in healing the whole person – body, mind and soul. McMorris’ business, Wellness by Choice, is one of the member businesses. McMorris joined the group this past February as a counselor who specializes nutrition, sleep disorders, meridian tapping, and reiki healing.

“The results have been phenomenal,” she added. “When people leave my office, they’re in a different place in life – physically, emotionally and spiritually.”

McMorris has been a wellness consultant for 12 and a half years.

“I’ve always been into helping people,” she said. Her passion for healing began at the age of 10 when she started babysitting. Then at age 17, she took a job taking care of a woman with multiple sclerosis. Over the years, she discovered that her call in life was helping people manifest their ideal selves.

“I love that ‘ah-ha’ moment when the light bulb turns on and people realize they can make a change,” McMorris said.

“I am so proud of the center,” said MHC owner and director Brandy Astwood, who offers hypnotherapy and holistic birthing services. “The success of our businesses shows that the community values our services. The purpose of MHC is to serve as an umbrella for small holistic businesses and community wellness center. During these tough economic times we cannot afford to give up our dreams. We had to come together and get creative, and that has paid off!”

Motherlode Holistic Connection features six therapy rooms shared by nine practitioners who offer services in the areas of hypnotherapy, pre-natal and post-partum coaching, massage, comparative religion classes, alternative medicine, nutritional counseling, tarot reading, yoga, reiki, weight loss coaching, and other alternative health therapies. The center has a dedicated classroom that feature a regular schedule of yoga, tai chi and a variety of workshops such as a weekly Course of Miracles study group.

The group started six years ago as a network of holistic arts practitioners. In 2007, members of the network got together to create a directory for the public to access the members’ services. The popularity of the businesses encouraged center director Brandy Astwood to create a community wellness center to consolidate their services in one central location. On Sept. 26, 2009, Motherlode Holistic Connection celebrated its grand opening at 8 Court Street in Jackson.

Massage therapists Davina Edmonson, whose business “Davina’s Healing Hands” has been with MHC since the beginning, and her assistant Mary Beth Jenson said that business has been good, albeit a little slow since the recession hit. They agreed that their regular client base has been consistent, even though they’re not seeing the amount of new clients they’ve had in the past. The good news is that despite the poor economy, their regular clients continue to find value in therapeutic massage, which enables Edmonson and Jenson to keep their healing hands open.

Dana Fink of Moon and Stars Tarot joined MHC in March. Fink is the only tarot-card reader with a business license through the City of Jackson, and is certified through the Assembly of Wicca in Sacramento. She bought her first tarot deck in 1980 and has been obsessed with the cards ever since.

“If my insight and guidance can help people, I’m there for them,” she said. “We all need clarity in our lives. If the tarot can help you, why should I say no?

Guy Johnson, a distributor for Mona Via juices, was invited by the MHC group to showcase his products at the MHC open house. He claims his products create a synergistic formula that blend the healthful açai berry with juices from other fruits around the world to offer wellness benefits that result in increased energy levels during the waking hours and better sleep at night. He added that Mona Via’s products contain no caffeine, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.

“Just two 2-ounce shots day of Mona Via provide 13 servings of your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables,” he noted. “It’s a convenient way to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables,” Johnson said.

Jim DuCray is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist who has been in practice since 1988. According to his website at, his approach to treatment is eclectic, strength-based, and solution-focused. DuCray works with adolescents and adults dealing with difficult life transitions.

Motherlode Holistic Connection is located at 8 Court Street in Jackson. For more information, call 304-8495 or visit

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