Heliotrope Holistic Health Services is such a magical place that I am often asked how on Earth it got started or if it just mushroomed up into the old Jerusalem courtyard where it lives. The answer is easy, a Cosmic Collision between Bathroom Mystique and Men’s Homing Circuits.
For years I had been supervising a program to include special children in regular settings and seeing a wide range of women clients for wellness work. The children’s program was poverty stricken and I wanted to keep my rates low so that all women could get help – thus I conducted all my work from home. I had lots of dreams about what COULD be done if I had the space, time, etc. but on I went until the day of the Cosmic Collision.
We all know that bathrooms are mystical places. We can soak away a bad day, brisk up in the morning, “meditate”, make faces in the mirror, play air guitar and hide. A very special place. All women also know that men have a Come Home Circuit that is clearly defined. My late husband’s went like this, open door, go to hall and drop keys and pocket contents on the book shelf and go to the Mystical Bathroom. A combination of him a bit early and me a bit late set the stage for the Cosmic Collision – him walking in to his normally quiet house to find a mom and her Down’s Syndrome baby playing on the living room rug, a woman on the couch with acupuncture needles, another waiting for some homeopathy and the icing on the cake… a woman in the Mystical Bathroom. I was called to the side and reminded that this was a house and not a clinic and that I should consider quitting work or finding somewhere appropriate to do it.
My nose doesn’t do “snit”. Almost every time that I have received a friendly little ultimatum, it was G-ds way of smacking a slow learner into the right move. I sat and thought about all the need, the things I would love to do for people and all the things that could be brought together. I started to feel brave enough to actually get a home for the work. That night, I had a lovely dream remembering my Aunt and I planting a border of Heliotrope one fine Spring day. The next day, Heliotrope Holistic Health Services was born.
After being housed in a real “clinic” clinic, I was fortunate enough to come to Beit David, a courtyard in the historic part of Jerusalem. Its arched ceiling and lovely floor were caked in dirt and spider webs and the beautiful courtyard was covered in cast-offs and trash. Dozens of trips to the bin and buckets of soapy water later, all wielded by amazing women that wanted to midwife Heliotropes birth, the place began to glow and embrace everyone who came to it. Most of the decorations were brought here by the women, to enjoy in their place. All these years later, it still seems to be happy we are here.
What is and Why A Heliotrope?
It is also a classification for things that follow light.
Even though I am the founder of Heliotrope, it is much more than “my practice”. It is a place were women come together, where new perspectives are aired, where people cry and laugh, where women help women to be their best. Heliotrope received the ultimate compliment recently. Two of our clients, who had never met, went to an evening that included a guided imagery session in which they went to “their safe and special place”. Both were amazed to find at the end of the session, when they told about “their place”, that they had both come to Heliotrope! I feel truly blessed to be a part of Heliotrope.
Shoshana Savyon, PhD, DHM
We would love to see you. As each woman receives her special time, Heliotrope works by appointment only.
Heliotrope is located in an old, historic courtyard in the center of Jerusalem, Israel. The courtyard was built in 1868 as one of the first settlements outside of the Old City walls. It has been home to many outstanding Talmidei Chachamim. The courtyard still has the well which was the only source of water and the gates that were necessary to protect the residents still close in the evening!
In 1928, Rav Kook moved to the upper floor with his Kollel. The mikveh (ritualarium) in the courtyard was last used to prepare Rav Kook for his burial. A small museum honoring Rav Kook and his synagogue are located on the upper floor.
The Vaad HaKlali Knesset Yisroel, the oldest charity fund organization in Israel, is still in residence. For many years, it housed the Museum of Psalms, a unique collection of Kabbalistically oriented paintings illustrating the inner meaning of each of the 150 Psalms of King David. We now share it with a Yeshivah for young men who are from challenging backgrounds.
Our nearest neighbor, just a few yards down the walking path, is Anna Ticho House Museum. It was the home and clinic of Dr. Avraham Ticho, the first ophthalmologist in the region, and his wife, Anna. She was an extraordinary artist and great lover of Jerusalem that depicted life here from a unique angle. Their home and garden was donated to the people of Jerusalem upon her death.