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ImageTucked between Groton and Cortland, the Fall Creek Healing Center provides a relaxing country setting for healing massage from deep tissue work to very light rocking and stretching.  The center is a merging of partners Janet Jacobs and Jim Bucko, both Reiki Masters and offering compatible services including reflexology, essencial oil therapy, shamanistic services, drum and rattle making classes, workshops on overcoming headaches, stomach issues, foot problems, back and neck problems.

"We look at a person as a whole structure," Jacobs says.  "Oftentimes in Western medicine they look at the symptom and they cure that.  They don't look at what is causing the symptom, so when they fix this symptom there are often many side effects, and then they have to look at those symptoms.  We tune the body."

Jacobs moved Janet's Healing Hands from the renovated Groton church to its current, more rural location across the road from Fall Creek in January.  It is the site of Bucko's Hawk's Way.  The merged business is Fall Creek Healing Center.  Jacobs says that her interest in healing arts came while she was recovering from painful knee surgery in 1999.  Traditional medicine and physical therapy couldn't help her so she went to a 'healing touch' practitioner in Cortland.

"When I went for my first appointment I was on crutches," she says.  "I couldn't walk up the stairs.  After my first session with her I didn't have a lot of pain.  It was amazing."

While not all of her clients are recovering from traumatic surgery Jacobs estimates that about 80% of those who are feel a significant amount of relief after their first session with her.

Jacobs is originally from Red Bank, New Jersey, and her family moved to Harrisburg Pennsylvania when she was 14.  Her ambition was to be a wife and mother.  She realized that goal after high school, and attended beauty school.  Soon after her parents moved to Cortland, and that eventually drew her to this area.  Today her son is 26 and her daughter is almost 20.   Before going into massage, she took a variety of jobs including at the Homer Animal Clinic, BOCES day treatment program, and then the Pall Corporation.

She then trained at the Fingerlakes School of Massage, and received her training in Craniosacral therapy through the Upledger Institute.  She is certified through Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in Medical Massage for Cancer Patients.  Bucko is currently taking the Fingerlakes School of Massage course as well.

"It's very humbling and honoring to be able to work with somebody who is going through that struggle and help them," she says.

Jacobs takes an intensely spiritual approach to her body work, but she says that everyone can benefit from it no matter what their beliefs.

"I work with vibration," she says.  "By placing my hands on somebody I can feel their vibrations.  I can feel where there is a lot or not a lot.  Sometimes I see things or hear things from the body.  Think about when you're in a room and somebody walks up behind you.  You may not hear them, but you feel them.  You're feeling their energy.  They can scientifically measure our energy from about six feet away from a human being."

Jacobs says business has picked up since she moved in January.  In addition to body work services and workshops the center offers a pond and walking trails with benches in the woods.  The couple hopes to erect a tea house by the pond this summer where clients can bring lunch and be in a quiet, meditative place.  They also hope to build a cabin on the property to live in so they can convert the current house into an enlarged healing center.  That will allow them to expand workshop offerings, invite guest speakers, and create three new treatment rooms.

She says she enjoys being able to mix working with clients with breaks to sit by the pond, or walk her dog in the woods.  And she loves having clients leave a session feeling better than when they came in.

Those clients come from the local area, and from as far as Albany and New York City, Trumansburg, Spencer, and a couple from Connecticut.  She partners with local bed and breakfasts.  One Massachusetts couple received a gift certificate as a wedding present.  They stayed at the Ben Conger Inn and came to her for body work.  She also works with local doctors who refer patients to her, and to whom she refers clients, and also plans to approach local veterinarians, to provide Reiki for animals. 

With her experience of her knee surgery not healing well, she still respects traditional Western medicine.  Jacobs says that she doesn't think of massage as alternative medicine, but as complimentary to traditional approaches.

"I've heard many people say knee surgery has been wonderful for them," she says.  "They have a new life and they can walk and they're thrilled.  Other people have struggled and it's never been right since.  For those people I say come.  Think about other alternatives.  What is your body telling you?  What do you need?  Be your own health care voice.  Research, talk to people, ask questions, think about it.  And go outside the scope of traditional Western medicine."

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