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A business may change, but the spirit remains

Earth Spirits owner takes turn at crossroads

Earth Spirits on Route 20 in Sturbridge has closed its doors for good, but many of the goods and services once available there will soon be available at Alternatives for Health in Brimfield. Salli Greene of Alternatives for Health packs containers of loose herbs, which will be transported to her facility. Christopher Tanguay. (click for larger version)
August 02, 2009
STURBRIDGE — After 15 years of providing holistic and homeopathic products and treatments, Earth Spirits on Route 20 in Sturbridge has closed its doors for good.

Many of their products, as well as a plethora of services will still be available though — just a few minutes down the road at Alternatives for Health, also on Route 20, in Brimfield.

"All of the things that we offer here will be offered there," said Joyce LaFortune of Earth Spirits on one of the last days of the store's existence. "What we're trying to do is accommodate our customers as best we can."

The retail portion of Alternatives for Health will open on Tuesday, Aug. 18, offering such Earth Spirits products as dried herbs, loose tea selections, oils, flower essences and other supplies. Some of the services LaFortune and Earth Spirits owner Diane Nuckle will offer through Alternatives for Health include Reiki, integrated energy therapy, and teasel flower essence sessions for the treatment of Lyme disease.

"There is a need," LaFortune said. "More and more people are looking for alternatives and realizing the importance of it and trying to do something other than taking medicine."

LaFortune said that Nuckle's decision to close the store is not a reflection of the town or her customers, both of which LaFortune said have been very supportive of the business, but is simply to pursue other avenues in life.

"She's been doing this for 15 years, and she's been called to do something else with her life," LaFortune said.

In a written statement to her customers, Nuckle said, "Many have asked, 'What's next?' I'm not entirely sure. I've been dancing with Hecate (the Greek goddess of the crossroads) at the crossroads for some time now. It has now become quite clear to me that I need to make space in my life for other things to come in, for the whispers to become 'heard voices,' to make space for new adventures. To do this, I must let go of the Earth Spirits storefront."

Salli Greene, who owns and operates Alternative for Health with Bill Widmeier, and who began her study of alternative medicine under Nuckle, a certified Master/Instructor, said she is thrilled to be able to offer Earth Spirits products and treatments at her establishment that focuses on body detoxification.

"Di was my teacher," Greene said while loading up a van with loose herbs and other items from Earth Spirits, preparing to move them to her location up the road. "I'm honored to be taking he products and have her and Joyce working out of our facility."

Some of the treatments already available at Alternatives for Health, which opened last year, include ear coning, which helps relieve earaches and sinus pressure. Their infrared sauna helps people rid their bodies of toxins, as can their ionic foot treatment, which helps remove heavy metals and other pollutants from the body.

The addition of the herbal products and Nuckle and LaFortune's expertise, Greene said, will be a huge boost to her wellness center.

"It's definitely going to enhance our business," Greene said. "This will help people have a product line as well."

Calling the closing of Earth Spirits a "bittersweet" affair, Greene said she is happy to provide an outlet for their goods.

"It would be a shame to not have the products available to people in our area," she said.

For more information on Alternatives for Health, visit www.alternatives-4health.com. For information on Earth Spirits products, treatments, and even instructional sessions, visit www.earthspirits-herbals.com, which will remain an active Web site after the storefront has closed.

News staff writer Christopher Tanguay may be reached at (508) 909-4132, or by e-mail at ctanguay@stonebridgepress.com.

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