Living the dream

Published 10:47 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daily Star photo/KATIE ROHMAN Scott Williams, owner of Inner Journey Healing Arts Center, demonstrates crystal bowl sound meditation. The classes are held at 7 p.m. most Wednesdays and occasionally on Sundays.

A dream became a reality for Niles business owners Scott Williams and Marc Milhander when they joined forces to establish Greater Michiana Healing Arts Center in May 2011.

Located at 109 N. Third St., Niles, the center combines counseling and the healing arts.

“We sort of started out with a dream,” Milhander said.

Williams, a Chicago and Niles resident and reiki master, is retiring from a career as a firefighter and paramedic. He opened Inner Journey Healing Arts Center in Belle Plaza on South 11th Street in 2009.

Inner Journey offers massage therapy and spa services, reflexology, acupuncture, reiki, hydrotone tub service, infrared sauna treatment, yoga and intuitive services, including spirit drawings, tarot readings, numerology and aura/energy reading. A crystal bowl sound meditations group meets at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. A family room hosts workshops, speakers and classes.

It employs about 13 part- and full-time employees, including five intuitive (psychic) readers.

Williams explained the “alternative” healing services his business provides could be interpreted many ways.

“‘Alternative’ is more mainstream than it’s ever been,” he said. Acupuncture and massage, for example, are ancient forms of therapy practiced in east Asia that are now very popular.

Milhander, a Southern California native and clinical psychologist, originally moved to Michiana to teach at the University of Notre Dame.

He developed a private practice and opened Haelan Counseling Center on Broadway in Niles in 1989.

Haelan offers counseling for depression, anxiety and relationship, physical and spiritual problems for children, adults, couples and families. It conducts forensic evidence testing for courts as well as family mediation. Milhander receives patients through doctor and patient referrals, and estimates Haelan has about 320 patient contacts per month.

“We really deal with people with a lot of different issues,” Milhander said.

He said business has “exploded” since moving from Broadway.

“Business has really taken off,” he said.

Milhander wanted to start a healing arts center since he was in graduate school in the 1980s.

“It’s a bit unusual to have all of this under one roof,” Mulhander said.

The two businesses offer services — traditional counseling and alternative healing arts  — that can cross over very well. Some clients who come to visit one business often learn of the other business’ services and utilize those as well.

“They’re becoming much more willing,” Milhander said. “As time passes, there is a considerable amount of cross-services.”

“They integrate very well,” Williams said.

“I really like being downtown,” he said. “I really like the town. Just about every day we meet people who say, ‘we didn’t know you were here.’”

Milhander and Williams also own The Kar Club Inc. in the same building. It is home to a car enthusiast club and used car and motorcycle dealership showroom.

An open house for the Greater Michiana Healing Arts Center will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. May 5. The public will have the opportunity to meet staff, take tours and enjoy refreshments and entertainment.

Inner Journey Healing Arts Center can be reached at 687-8865 or visit Haelan Counseling Center can be reached at 683-8972.