Deborah Hanekamp: Healer of the stars

Deborah Hanekamp, aka Mama Medicine, has been dubbed the fashion world's favorite healer by American Vogue magazine. We spoke to the New Yorker by choice about her methods and the power of nature.

November 23, 2023

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Her mobile number is highly sought after in the New York fashion scene, and Hollywood celebrities are also among Deborah Hanekamp's regular customers. During the Zoom interview, the spiritual healer, also known as Mama Medicine, sits in her white living room in Vermont with a dog running around in the background. In the interview, the book author (Ritual Baths) explains how people can become their own healers and what role nature and so-called ritual baths play in this. If you would like to meet the charismatic American in person, the mother of one daughter regularly organizes retreats in Europe and will be coming to Italy for a week in July 2024.

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You describe yourself as a healer. What gift do you have?
I'm able to see people clearly and recognize where their sticking points lie. This can be the pain they have suffered, but often it's also about hidden talents or blocking behaviors. By revealing these things, my clients can recognize themselves better and subsequently become their own healer.

What issues do people come to you with?
They are often professional challenges or health problems; some come because they want a child, have fallen unhappily in love or want to move house. Others simply want to get to know themselves better or finally achieve inner peace



What do your healing ceremonies look like?
In my Medicine Readings, I first listen and perceive the issues that someone brings with them. Then I close my eyes and feel into the person's energy; then I say out loud what comes to my mind. I usually say things that people have known for a long time but have never said before. At the end of the session there's a healing ceremony and I give the recipe for a ritual bath.

Why do you recommend healing baths?
Water is not only used to cleanse our bodies, but also our minds; salts and stones can also bring magic into the bath water. Above all, however, baths are a way to connect with nature.


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How did you learn to trust your intuition so strongly?
I had to use my gift to keep from slipping. I grew up in the northeastern United States in a rural area with strict religious structures, alcohol and drugs were very common.

With whom did you hone your skills?
I started with Zen meditation and yoga. When I was 24 years old, I had my own yoga studio in New York and met my most important teacher. For five years, I assisted him with his ayahuasca ceremonies in the Amazon. We worked with plants to strengthen the kidneys, lungs and bones - but nothing was as profound as what I learned from working with people and motherhood.

What would be the first step towards healing yourself?
This is different for everyone. For example, you may need to allow the mystery within you and listen more to your inner needs. To do this, you should simply let yourself drift more often - or dance more.

Celebrities such as Alicia Keys and Emma Roberts are among your clients. How did this come about?
When I started my work, there weren't that many healers around. If someone wanted something other than acupuncture, they were sent to me. After the birth of my daughter, I also lost my shyness and started to present myself on social media and wrote my book - this increased my popularity.

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What can people expect at the retreats you offer?
The women's retreat, which takes place once a year in Italy, is all about rediscovering the spark within yourself. We spend the first two days in absolute silence - so the feeling that you have to compulsively establish a connection disappears. Then we work with the elements. For example with air and fire and also with songs.

Your work sounds intense. How do you recharge your batteries?
I'm careful with my energy and live in a very supportive way in the mountains and in the forest.

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue Fall 2023.

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