PHOTO/D. Brian Burghart

Leigh Hurst is envisionary of Awaken Aging, which is to say, she's the owner of the little shop at 737 1/2 S. Virginia St. It's a New Age-y enterprise in a building of checkered past that focuses on education about relationships, aging, and healing of all types. For more information, check out

So what do you do here at Awaken Aging?

I hold different classes, different workshops. I do a lot of mentoring. One of my main things is healthy, happy relationships, natural remedies for sexual dysfunction, and death and dying. So I sort of mentor people of all ages through that.

How did you develop skills for such a wide variety of things?’

My background is psychology, social work, and gerontology, which is the study of aging.

And how did you develop that background? Degrees?

I have a degree in psychology, a degree in social work, and then half of my masters in gerontology.

So you brought those things together. What inspired you to bring it all to this place?

What I have learned from clients is that they come here for life-changing events. They walk in and that’s what they say, “I’m here for my life changing event” because they’re stuck. They’re stuck on their path and they just don’t know where to go. Either they’ve been carrying stuff from their childhood that they haven’t been able to let go of, and they’re 66 years old, and they still have all that junk on them, or they’ve been married 30 years and their sex life sucks, right? And so, who do they talk to about this? As we’re aging, who do we talk to about consciously aging, being aware as we age?

When you first said “life-changing events,” I thought you meant, “Oh I went through a divorce, so I need some way to get back on my path,” but you’re talking about intentionally changing your life, right?”

Yes. Definitely.

What do you do in this building?

Tonight we’re holding a class, and it’s called “Envisioning your sexuality on a lifelong journey.” And so people come in here and they learn about de-armoring. They learn about different sexual things that they’ve never thought about. They learn about energy and full body orgasms. They learn about breathwork, what works with a partner, what doesn’t work.

Aren’t all orgasms full-body orgasms?

No. Full-body orgasms have nothing to do with the genitals. So there’s no touching of the genitals, but it’s bringing the energy up.

What else do you do here? I notice you have something that looks like a massage table. What do you do with that?

I use different healing tools to unblock energy. Where you’re sort of stuck. Like tuning forks, different kinds of crystals, aromatherapy, but no actual massage, no hands on. So people come in there and we just move energy. Sometimes they need to let go and yell and scream, and I sort of walk them through, and talk them through issues they’re having.

Anything else we should talk about?

I have a few products here. One of the products I sell a lot of is hemp oil and hemp salve. A lot of clients are having issues and they’re taking three or four different [painkillers], all kinds of things that aren’t working, so they want to try hemp, and they come here and they try it … it relaxes their body, helps them to sleep. I used it on my little wiener dog. He had a tumor on his paw. The vet wanted $900 for it. I gave him that for two months, and it took the tumor off. …

And so I sell hemp oil and hemp salve, and a few little trinkets.