Marteen Santerre of The Spiritual Co-Op, Yarmouth
“The goal of healing work is to empower people to heal themselves,” says Marteen Santerre, owner and founder of The Spiritual Co-Op in Yarmouth, a cooperative community of practitioners who focus on mind-body healing with a clear vision and purpose.
The co-op is a bright, welcoming space painted in bright blues and whites with accents of warm oranges and yellows. The space radiates positive energy. There’s a beautiful meditation room, sitting area and a calming treatment room for massage and Reiki, a Japanese healing technique based on the principle that a therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the body’s healing processes and restore physical and emotional well-being.
Marteen is a certified Reiki master, meditation teacher and former hospice volunteer who decided to open her own Reiki practice, Reiki for Women, in Yarmouth in 2014. She hoped to empower women to heal and find balance in their lives, and after three years in business, she saw an opportunity to expand her practice to include men and children and “bring in different modalities to provide a community space for healing.” In April 2016, she relaunched as The Spiritual Co-Op.
“The co-op is a community-centered network that supports people on their spiritual journey and creates a safe, sacred healing environment where you can get the healing and support that you need,” Marteen says.
The practitioners serve as “facilitators who channel the energy and give people the tools to do the work on their own,” she says. “A practitioner doesn’t heal you, you heal yourself by opening yourself up to receive the work.” The ultimate goal is to “see people get to a state of alignment, balance and, ultimately, bliss.”
Marteen describes her work as gratifying and empowering, both for herself and her clients. “It gives you a sense of peace and calm to know you can manifest whatever you want in your life.”
The cooperative model benefits practitioners by reducing their overhead costs and by providing a space where they can offer their healing modalities to a community of clients. While not required for services, clients benefit from the $100 yearly co-op membership fee by receiving a 10-20 percent discount on all products and services. Clients and practitioners also benefit from being part of a community of people who are on a spiritual journey and path to healing. “We offer a place and a network for people to be able to support each other and build relationships and friendships,” Marteen says.
Marteen’s biggest challenge growing the business has been “getting people in the door,” which has motivated her to get out and “pound the pavement” by attending community events such as the Yarmouth Wellness Fair and other events where she can meet people, put a face to the business and build it.
In addition to running the Spiritual Co-Op and being a mom to her 7-year-old daughter, Marteen also works full time in Portland for a marketing and branding company. She offers her Reiki practice in the evenings and on the weekends, in addition to coordinating other facets of the business such as marketing and hosting events and workshops. Despite this heavy load, she remains energetic and inspired in her vision for the co-op’s future.
“The goal for the future is to be able to bring people in, help them get started and empower them to continue the work on their own so that we can build that community of happy, whole, healed people. That’s how we create a shift,” she says. “We’ll heal the world by healing the individual first.”
Mercedes Grandin is a freelance writer, editor and tutor who lives in Brunswick with her husband Erik and chocolate Labrador Fozzie.