Peaceful Greytown is an ideal location for its new Acupuncture and Herbal Wellness Centre service. Dawn Lucia has a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine (California) and recently moved to Greytown with her partner Jessie. Susan McLeary tells the intriguing story of how they got here.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Dawn says she “always felt more comfortable on my grandmother’s farm than in urban Detroit.” Aged 21 she moved to Los Angeles, studying self-help and alternative, healthier lifestyles.

Originally from Scotland, Jessie Glasser lived in Lower Hutt until 1965 when she started travelling the world, meeting Dawn in LA in 1986. Between them they have studied numerous approaches to healing, including the use of whole foods, and many stress reduction techniques.

After visiting New Zealand regularly, the idea of moving here permanently embedded itself in their minds as a long-term plan.  Dawn gained her Masters of Science degree in the 5000-year old traditional Chinese medicines, including acupuncture.

In 2005 they moved to New Zealand. Their “pretty Victorian villa in Grey Lynn” was to be temporary while they adjusted to life downunder, but they got busy with their acupuncture and healing practice and ten years slipped by. Dreams of country living never went away, and they spent weekends in quiet rural or beach areas.

Unfortunately, Dawn suffered a horrendous medical misadventure in December 2014.  Facing the possibility of having her hand or even her whole arm amputated, she used the range of healing techniques that she has offered her patients since 1998. In what she describes as “a miracle”, after two years Dawn successfully healed her fingers, hand and arm, and now has full use of her right hand and arm.

And here’s the intriguing part. While meditating, Jessie found the word GREYTOWN floating through her mind. Not just once but seven times. It seemed worth following up, just in case.

A Google search came up with encouraging ‘Food Forest Organics, Vegan Restaurant and Accommodation’ references so in July 2015 they drove south through terrible weather to discover Greytown.

“We just fell in love with the little village,” they recall.  “It’s far from madding crowds, is not Hicksville, has good clothes and food and is only an hour from Wellington by train if a city fix is needed. And there seemed to be space for an acupuncture clinic. We were on the move!”

Although Plan A was to build their own eco house and clinic, they found a beautiful house with half an acre of land on Papawai Road, surrounded by farmland, trees and animals.

“So this became Plan B and we couldn’t be happier. It has everything we wanted for living in the country, yet only 600m from Main Street,” said Jessie.

Adding extensive solar panels to the roof, they delight in a $14 power bill, and are busily planning new plantings of herbs and vegetables. Young cattle arrive eagerly at their fence knowing Dawn and Jessie will happily feed them willow leaves from their magnificent tree.

The house has a spacious private room with its own separate entrance, perfect for Dawn’s clinic, Acupuncture & Herbology, opening in March.

She explains that while acupuncture is effective in treating pain, it also has other benefits. “The world is a stressful place, although Greytown is definitely less stressful than Los Angeles!

“Acupuncture may help relieve emotional stress, anxiety and depression, and even assist fertility and menopause issues.

“Part of the treatment is about making people feel looked after, and Jessie does this beautifully.”

Dawn and Jessie say “we just knew we belonged here”.  As an Auckland patient said, they are about “peace, healing and professionalism”.