Santa Fe New Mexican
THE CHILD CARE SHUFFLE
Monique Derfuss, founder and president of SoundWellness, moved to Santa Fe from the greater Washington, D.C., area in October 2022 to renew her business, which had been devastated by the COVID-19 shutdown, and to renew herself. “In my meditations, I asked where there was a place where I could be of service yet thrive personally and spiritually. Santa Fe kept coming up,” she says. Her move here “was a combination of the practical side, where can I grow my business where is there a greater understanding of the technologies, and at the same time where I can grow as a person.” SoundWellness offers a range of services, including one-on-one and group gong sound therapy, which uses vibration to heal. Derfuss also practices reiki, a Japanese relaxation technique with Buddhist roots, to move chi, or life-force energy, with a series of direct-touch hand positions or by hovering over a particular part of the body. And she leads sessions in kundalini yoga, which realigns energy along meridians by integrating postures, breath work, mantras, and meditation to target a particular physical and/or energetic concern. The modalities are available to individuals, couples, senior centers, and corporations. Each aims to help participants “move beyond only taking care of their physical bodies to taking a more holistic approach to their health by integrating support of their energetic, or subtle, bodies,” Derfuss says. All approaches benefit people experiencing stress and anxiety, especially as they transition out of the depths of the pandemic only to reckon with the mental health issues it precipitated. She says her services complement Western medicine. “I don’t see them as an alternative to traditional medicine,” she says. Derfuss is also passionate about bringing her reiki services to animals. She volunteers at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter and Humane Society several times a week and treats other animals in their homes, with the caretakers in the room, so the whole family can heal.