Filled with crystals, windchimes and its very own dove, Turiya’s Gifts founder and staff said they want their store to be an oasis for people looking to relieve stress, feel balanced and have fun.
Turiya’s Gifts is located in the heart of Sugar House at 1569 S. 1100 East. The name means “unspeakable peace,” and the store specializes in crystals and other healing tools to help customers create harmony, positivity and balance.
“We are vibrational fields of intelligence and bodies of knowing,” said Kristen Dalzen, owner of Turiya’s Gifts. “We grow up in a world that really doesn’t support openness or a connection with one another [or supply] the tools to begin to map energy and learn how to become open again and to become in alignment for physical health, emotional health and for intimacy and connection. Crystals, essential oils, song, chanting and the thoughts we think are all ways of healing.”
On the store’s opening day in November 1991, Turiya’s Gifts sold out completely, according to Jan Jacobsen, founder of Turiya’s Gifts.
“People come here wanting to feel better and for a kind of support,” Jacobsen said. “Turiya’s is more of a beginner's mind experience, like discovering something you hadn’t seen before.”
Dalzen said every person who comes through the door is dealing with stress, which crystals can help relieve. She said she personally used crystals to deal with stress when she was a student.
“I went to massage school, and when I was studying for exams I actually had one crystal that I studied with,” Dalzen said. “I took it into my tests with me and that really was an anchor and that was a way that I used it. [Crystals] do have different properties and some of them are calming, soothing, or grounding.”
Patricia Sotelo, a senior information systems major at the University of Utah, said she goes to Turiya’s Gifts to feel a sense of relaxation.
“I have always loved rocks, and I’ve been into this store a couple of times,” Sotelo said. “Each time I come in, I become more and more interested in learning about the crystals. I really like how calming it feels to be in here.”
Dalzen said it’s important to slow down, take in an environment and take time to connect—something she said Westerners starve for.
“Both Eastern and Western medicine are so valuable,” Dalzen said. “Our Western model tends to be symptom based. We have a symptom and we respond to that symptom. We tend to medicate things or tend to cut things out. A lot of times that approach is very useful, [but] there are times where that approach misses the boat. Eastern health is preventative and it’s also based on balance, mind, body and spirit.”
Jacobsen said Eastern medicine aims to balance the body rather than poison it and said the body's own wisdom can bring health given the opportunity.
“I think Western medicine is really good at broken bones and fixing the structure of the body,” Jacobsen said. “My hope and prayer is that it all comes together. What does medicine mean to each person? And how do we listen to our own bodies, understanding that we have an inner physician that is there and awake and aware?”
Although Jacobsen said there are benefits of Eastern medicine and energy work, some people feel standard Western medicine is a more logical route.
“When it comes to medicine or natural healing substances, it should be backed by studies,” said junior psychology major Luke Childers. “I’m a science student, so that’s the way I think when it comes to medicine. My best guess as to why people use Eastern medicine is because they might think traditional medicine is controlled. So when people find alternatives, it’s like, ‘Let’s try it and see if it actually helps.’ It’s free from control of other people or higher powers, so to speak, meaning doctors or government. ”
Jacobsen said those who work at Turiya’s Gifts want to invite people who may be unfamiliar with or skeptical of crystals and Eastern medicine to participate.
“I think life is about participating and being on the journey,” Jacobsen said. “If in some given moment there is skepticism, for any given reason, I’m not going to compete with that with anyone.”
Dalzen said people don’t always feel the energy from the crystals right away. However, she said they can still experience healing benefits whether they feel the energy or not.
“What I’ve found is often times over time people become more perceptive,” Dalzen said. “So, if they are open to the experience and are drawn to it, they can find value in it.”