Tag Archives: Omaha Healing Arts Center

True Colors

August 19, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Chanell Jaramillo helps people discover their true colors—just as she once sought to divine her own.

Gifted with vision and intuition that transcended her childhood in a hardscrabble neighborhood of Yuma, Arizona, she later revived those abilities to make another great escape. She transformed herself from an ill, overworked executive to a healer, surrounding herself in the safe, centered haven of her ultimate truth.

“Life experiences are teachings,” says Jaramillo. “You can look at them as challenges and get stuck in your circumstance, or, you can see them as lessons and allow them to take you to a place of wisdom.”

Channell1Jaramillo is a solution-focused holistic health practitioner with a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology, a school of psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience within the framework of modern psychology. She employs that philosophy in guiding her clients toward their own personal truth and optimum path. Working primarily as a transformational life coach from her Omaha Healing Arts Center office, Jaramillo skillfully walks the line between analysis and intuition, academic knowledge and life-learned wisdom, fact-based theory and gut-based truth.       

Jaramillo first adjudicates clients with her Biopulsar, a biomedical measuring device that’s one of just 300 in the U.S. It reads energy from the hand’s 49 reflex zones—each correlating to an organ or gland in the body—to produce a uniquely kaleidoscopic aura scan portrait, bursting with colors from the chakras, or spirit centers in the body. Jaramillo interprets these colors, from red for basic trust to violet for spirituality, to determine distressed bodily areas.

Someone needing more white in her life may need to unblock the heart center. A client needing more turquoise can use something as simple as a coffee cup to visually help open the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word.

Jaramillo then provides clients a customized healing regimen, which can include lifestyle and diet changes, yoga, energy work, massage, and other forms of therapy.        

“In real time, [the Biopulsar] measures your consciousness—what you’re feeling and thinking,” says Jaramillo, adding that thoughts have relationships throughout the body that are able to create holding patterns and can cause physical problems. “It’s used medically for preventative health in Europe and Asia because it shows if a thought has manifested yet at a physical level or if it’s still within your auric field.”

Channell3Before Jaramillo could heal others, she had to find her own path to healing and happiness.   

Years ago, while navigating 70-hour workweeks as an executive for a large Southern California resort and winery, Jaramillo became extremely ill. A chorus of doctors chimed in with various theories, yet none could explain why she was sick.     

“I started balancing my work/life better and changed my entire outlook,” says Jaramillo, who, on the heels of a profound awakening, found herself intuitively guided toward lifestyle adjustments that ultimately healed her where prescription medicine had failed.

Striving to make sense of her experience led Jaramillo down a path resulting in a vocational calling to return to husband Chris Basilevac’s native Omaha and work as a holistic healer.     

“I kept having dreams guiding me back to Omaha to work in the spiritual field. At first I thought, ‘Uh, Universe, I think you have your coordinates wrong,’” says Jaramillo. But the call persisted, so she decided to “just trust and follow the breadcrumbs.”

The leap paid off, and Jaramillo now embodies the tradition of her great-grandmother, a curandera, which means “healer” in Spanish.

“I’ve always admired the idea of the crone, the wise old woman, which isn’t honored in our society today,” she says. “I want to be that wise old crone someday, who people can look to knowing that I speak from the experience of living life, learning from mistakes, and growing. Maybe that’s how I ended up doing this work, trying to return to a tradition our culture’s lost.” Encounter

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A Space for Everything

February 10, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Ganesh graces the soft purple cover of Sandy Aquila’s guestbook. The book is bound at the top; inside, on delicate handmade pages, the dates corresponding to the signatures within start at 2001. On some pages, the handwriting is big and breezy. On one, it’s in Arabic.

The book tells the story of the loft space at the top of the Old Market’s Omaha Healing Arts Center, which Aquila opened in 2001. On the main floor of the center, situated at 1216 Howard St., is a retail area, tea bar, and event space, where concerts, speakers, poetry events, yoga, weddings, and more are routinely hosted. On the lower level, holistic practitioners offer massage therapy, acupuncture, ayurvedic medicine, and other Eastern healing techniques.

Before the center was the center, Aquila said, the space was her uncle’s antique shop, and the loft at the top was his office. There’s still homage to that time—an antique claw crane game in the corner of the kitchen.

“We’ve joked about putting herbs and vitamins inside,” Aquila said.

It would befit the setting now, a sort of multipurpose space used by Aquila’s family at times, for small yoga sessions or healing workshops at others, and perhaps most often, by guest artists and healers performing or practicing at the center—the names filling Aquila’s guestbook.


In the loft’s open layout is a six-seat dining table and fully stocked kitchen on one side and, on the other, two comfy couches and a low-lying, Japanese-style seating area in front of a mirrored wall. A central raised sleeping area is cozily out of view. The windows are treated with breezy sheers, and a few Asian-inspired tables—including a large Japanese tansu with movable pieces that currently house a TV and its accessories—are placed throughout. There’s a big pile of pillows for impromptu seating. Tibetan sculptures speak to the Center’s—and Aquila’s own—world-culture influences.

There are, of course, also exposed brick walls, a high ceiling and a local artist’s piece—an abstract with Asian embellishments—prominently hung.

“It’s still Old Market,” Aquila said. “It’s just older world. It’s the Age-Old Market.”

Holistic medicine stems from a lot of ancient Eastern traditions, Aquila said, attractive to her because they focus on both outer and inner aspects of humanity.

“When I began studying Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic healing, I noticed that even the intake questions were holistic, asking about who you are, not only about the symptoms you’re having,” she said. “There is a spiritual quality, and I don’t mean religious—it takes into consideration the whole being. These ancient healing arts are holistic, treating the body, mind, spirit and the emotions through lifestyle, herbs, hands-on healing and much more.” Aquila looks at the center as a body, of sorts, and the people and healing inside as its spirit.

“This space is like a womb,” she said.

“It’s a creative and healing place that holds the potential for possibilities. Just as people hold space in their hearts for love or compassion for another, this space holds a healing and nurturing atmosphere for people to remember the light inside themselves.”

Aquila’s guestbook tells of so many connections made.

There was Dr. Alain Abehsera from Jerusalem who, during a three-day stay, shared his connective therapy practice—healing with his mind.

There was Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, the Spiritual Head of the Himalayan Institute—a nonprofit that promotes inner prosperity through yoga, meditation, holistic health practices, and humanitarian projects—who spoke at the Center in 2005.

There was Sondra Ray, known as the Mother of Rebirthing, who led sessions designed to help people recover from the trauma of birth.

Alan Arkin taught a workshop on improvisational theater. Vinx, a world-influenced jazz and soul musician, riffed on traditional chanting and earned an Om-Center-specific nickname during his repeat visits: Grand Master Om. Musician Gerald Trimble, his ensemble and his assortment of old-world instruments—viola da gamba, lute, Turkish saz—are regulars here.

In November 2014, eight Tibetan monks created a sand mandala at the center. They spread out in sleeping bags in the loft one night, cooked traditional Tibetan momos, or dumplings, one morning.

Each guest who’s stayed, Aquila said, has left something in the loft, in its air. “So many amazing people have visited and stayed here now that it has been infused with a bit of their spirit and love.“Who we are emanates from us,” she said.

“How we move through the world has an energy; that energy has created an atmosphere that has made this space so special to so many. It’s not only about four walls but about the quality of the place on an energetic level.