Natalie Kurylo, D.C.
A Practice Atmosphere Suited to Her Interests
by Freelance Writer Beverly KnightNatalie Kurylo, D.C., describes herself as having moved around “like a Gypsy” after graduating from Appalachian State University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. The Poughkeepsie, NY, native worked in a health food store where she learned about complementary and alternative health and lived for a time in New Mexico where she became aware of different healing arts.
Then she landed in Indianapolis, IN, where her “path to healing” began. It was there that she experienced her first chiropractic adjustment, and that was merely the beginning of her journey. She soon enrolled at Sherman, where she met her husband, Tim O’Donnell, also a student at Sherman.
Kurylo and her husband, “Timo,” now live in Knoxville, TN, where she works as an independent contractor in a multidisciplinary practice, Gypsy Hands Healing Arts Center. “East Tennessee is a pretty conservative area,” Kurylo says, voicing surprise that Gypsy Hands has been so successful at attracting a wide range of people to its location in what is becoming known as the “healing arts district” of Knoxville. “We have our share of people who raise their eyebrows when they drive by and see the name, but all around us are health-oriented businesses: a food co-op, yoga studio, culinary places that sell a range of products, including medicinal mushrooms.”
And the atmosphere couldn’t be better suited to Kurylo’s interests. The eight practitioners at Gypsy Hands, a “green business,” offer a variety of services ranging from chiropractic care to veterinary acupuncture. “To come into an established business where everybody is health-minded has made it so much easier for me than it would have been starting from scratch,” Kurylo says of the center that attracts clientele of all ages, both sexes and all income levels.
“It surprised me in this economy that the business is doing so well, but people who understand the value of health will prioritize and make it happen.”
One of the most personally satisfying aspects of the work for Kurylo is that practitioners are required to trade services twice each month with other Gypsy Hands practitioners. “It’s easy to get too busy to take care of yourself,” she says. “And it’s also wonderful that each of us knows what the others are doing.”
Because at least 50 percent of the clients use more than one of the services at Gypsy Hands, Kurylo was interested in seeing first-hand the benefits of the services offered by the other practitioners, even the veterinarian.
Kurylo had practiced in Spartanburg for two years after she graduated in 2005, working in the office of Dick Plummer, D.C., a 1979 Sherman graduate. “I had a great experience there,” she says of sharing space and ideas in a traditional chiropractic office. “But here I enjoy the community setting. We all get along so well and we feed off what each other is doing. It’s great to see the results as well. People walk in looking one way and walk out looking entirely different.
“The majority of my clients come because they want gentle chiropractic care. Because I’m not practicing in a more medical-like office, I spend a lot of time with my clients. It’s more communal, starting at the reception area.”
When Kurylo entered Sherman, she didn’t envision herself working in what Gypsy Hands refers to as “a holistic wellness center, dance studio and ashram,” but where else could she experience the joy of a workplace that focuses on “the divine feminine” or learning from Maori healers of New Zealand the practices of aboriginal people from other countries?