Deganit Nuur I Intuitive Wellness Practitioner
"I am all about empowering people. I feel like 'you heal you' and I am just the conduit in your growth. So the more things people can do at home, I think, the better because that’s them partaking in their own self-actualization journey."
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Fresno, CA. But you can just put California! [laughs] Fresno is so…well have you ever been there?
Can you describe that place and its people? How does it compare to your life in New York?
It influenced me a whole lot. I didn't love the environment, and I didn't really connect with people. I never felt like I belonged. And then when I moved to San Diego for college and then graduate school, I felt a greater sense of belonging there. It was like there was more nature there. It was so beautiful. The people I connected with, but it was not until New York did I really feel that I belonged. This is way more my pace. My spiritual practice has only grown here. It was almost like everyone was so chilled out in San Diego that it I didn’t need to meditate as much. But here I need it. So its only helped me grow and evolve personally. But also, I am far more of a faster person. I’ve always been a hustler, so I get the heartbeat of the city. I feel like we’re on the same vibe. I love it here. I love it a whole lot. I connect with people, and I have a community. Everything just made sense when I moved here. But in many ways, if I never wanted to leave Fresno, I would have never found this.
What were you like as a child? Did you know what you wanted to “be” when you grew up?
I was just thinking about this today….I used to fantasize about all this, but I never thought it was for me. I come from a western medical background...like my mom, grandfather, a lot of doctors and little bit more traditional thinking. I don’t know if traditional is the right word….a little bit more conservative. So yeah, I used to daydream about being a mystic. It’s funny, I have just gotten into the essential oils and am loving them, but this reminds me that I would make fake potions in childhood. Or I would put a rock inside the little sunkist raisin boxes and draw a picture on them and give people mantras when I was like 8. And yeah, now I kinda do the same thing. So that did not change.
But the sense of belonging did. I used to fight it. That’s the part that’s changed. That was like happy imagination land, but especially growing up, I thought, "I have to put that away - that’s not practical. I need to get serious about life." It’s like that stuff hasn't changed, but my relationship with it has changed.
Did your parents know what you were interested in? Did they encourage or discourage it?
Um, they knew...and they totally discouraged it. I’m not going to lie. It was just so different from their approach to life. Still family members will say, “Don't you want to try psychology? You are so good with people.” And I’ll tell them, “I know..that’s why I do what I do.” It’s just so outside of the way they think that they can't wrap their head around it.
When did you first leave home? Where did you go?
I left for college...I was 17 when I started undergrad at UCSD. I picked San Diego for the nature, it’s just super pretty. I have a little brother who is 10 years younger than me, and I had a big part in raising him...so, I didn't want to leave because Eli needed me. He was only 8 at the time. I would pick him up from school, we’d go to soccer. I was like his soccer mom. So it was really hard leaving, but then once I left, it all made sense why I had to leave. It has made a dramatic difference in my life and in my relationship with my parents.
What is your educational background?
I studied Human Development at UCSD. That was a lot of cognitive science - psychology, sociology...I have just always been fascinated by the human experience. At UCSD I was Pre-Dental, and that was my first exposure to acupuncture. I was doing this double blind study where we were extracting teeth, but we were exploring acupuncture as an alternate form of anesthesia. It was cool. It comes full circle because later on I did an externship there with my graduate school at that same location, but as an acupuncturist not as pre-dental. So, it was with the homeless population in San Diego who would come for free dental care. They were all getting these teeth extractions which is a predictable form of pain. Half of them got local anesthesia and then the other half acupuncture. They were given either a fake shot or fake acupuncture, but nobody knew which they were receiving. And nobody felt pain! Like 1 person out of 120 felt pain. It blew my mind! Yeah...pulling teeth out of peoples heads….I know! It was so amazing.
During that study I just found myself asking the acupuncturist all sorts of questions and then remembering I was pre-dental and going back to the dentist’s place...like oh, yeah. The dentistry was so cut and dry. It was A, B, C, Done. There was not that much to explore...for me at least. And the acupuncture was - the more questions I asked, the more questions I had. It opened me up to this whole other way of treating humans. So that is what kind of started it.
I graduated and took a couple years off, and that is when I became an intuitive. Then I went back to acupuncture school in San Diego and did an externship there with the homeless population, which was tremendous. It’s a 4 year degree and because I started in San Diego where you are required a Masters in Herbs (it is required in CA but not in NY), I became an herbalist and got my masters in Oriental Medicine to do the needling. At that time I did do externships with the homeless population, which is cool because it’s pretty extreme cases that you don't always get in real life. I also worked at an HIV clinic.
Any mentors or favorite teachers along the way?
One of my mentors was Alex Teberi, and I followed him for two years. He really molded me as a practitioner. I thought I was going to be a pediatric acupuncturist, and he did pediatric acupuncture. He wasn't needling the kids...it’s called the tickle machine - estim: electro stimulation unit: it runs a current through the body and can be used for pediatric acupuncture. I use it in my practice all the time with needles. The one for kids doesn't use needles- it's just a metal lead you place on the acupuncture point. I got pretty good and I got to work with kids all day...I loved it. It was just me and a kid in the room for a half hour with me tickling them, so it was really cool, it was really experiential, he taught me a lot about the herbs and just patient rapport and helping them trust you. He’s so laid back which I appreciate because that’s also my approach. And it’s more empowering for the client, rather than me being like “you need to do this”...it’s more suggestions and then they get to rise to the occasion and do what they need to do. So I got a lot out of that mentorship.
Why the move to New York?
I came to New York to finish school. It was my last year in school when I got to New York, so I didn’t really take on any mentors when I was here. I already had 4 clinic shifts a week...that is part of the program. And I had been teaching the guided meditations for a while. The second I moved to New York there was such a demand for it - more than in San Diego. Or maybe there was a demand in San Diego, but there were a lot of people doing it. So I was just teaching those out of my home in Brooklyn for years.
Can you describe what you do and how they are all connected to each other?
Yeah, I would love to. So, I started meditating the second I left home. I was always trying out different forms of meditation, and I stumbled across the form that I currently teach, which is all about psychic development. I was just trying out something different, and I really gravitated towards it. I didn't think all of this would come of it.
So, I took those classes, and students from the classes would exchange readings. People would ask me for readings all the time because I was spot on. I feel like the path chose me. I started becoming a professional intuitive 2 years later...I was just gifting readings left and right, and people were referring me to their friends. Before I knew it, I actually had a small business without even trying.
Some people would pay me, I didn't really want the payment because I didn't really know, or didn't think I knew, what I was doing, but some people would pay me. This one week I made more money from readings than I did waitressing …. I quit waitressing. I was like “Okay, I will actually honor this.”
When I started acupuncture school, I already had the intuitive filter. When we were talking about “channel theory,” I saw the channels and started noticing them on peoples bodies. It was a very experiential connection with the medicine for me. The second I graduated school, I coupled the two. I have only ever practiced acupuncture with intuitive readings. So currently, people come in and they first get the points based on health history and whatever they have gone through. I then go into a trance-like state and give them a 20 minute reading. Then, based on the reading, often times more points come up. Sometimes it’s needles, and sometimes it’s oils on specific points because they have amazing energetic properties that resonate with our lymphatic system and our facia that help balance the person too. Often times the very end of the session will be a guided meditation addressing everything that came up to empower the human being and get the subconscious mind to go there and accept the health changes and the miracles. Then everything comes out, and I wrap up with oil, Then I write out a mantra and any suggested homework exercises. The next time they come, in I always ask them if they practiced their homework, if anything has shifted, and we always address physical ailments as well, but there is a spiritual component to everything I believe.
Are the essential oils something that you send patients home with to use?
Totally. There are a few clients that I have created customized blends for and told them where to put it and at what hours. That is the whole intention of it. I am all about empowering people. I feel like “you heal you” and I am just the conduit in your growth. So the more things people can do at home, I think, the better because that’s them partaking in their own self-actualization journey.
I do that with the herbs too. I make customized potions and people go home with them...sometimes at the end of a session, depending on where you’re at and if you need it, I will have people take shots of herbs. It’s a cool and a great part of it….you get the topical stuff, you get the internal stuff, you get the subconscious stuff…
And they must be in a better space when they come back to you...
Exactly. Totally. More empowered. Like “I did this for myself...I'm healing myself.” It’s nice. And I always couple it with a mantra so they can engage their entire being.
When did you open Nuurvana?
Good question...there isn't an official date. I got my license in August of 2010...and since I was already doing the readings, I coupled it with the acupuncture, and then doing them out of my home and then at the Well Space...so it kind of feels like I have always had Nuurvana. But I moved into this building in May of 2011. So, the Nuurvana Center was started in 2011.
How did you know you had intuitive capabilities? How did you tap in to them?
Initially I didn't. That’s why I meditated. I just thought I was a crazy person. I would wake up okay and then walk into a room and have to run to the bathroom and cry my eyes out because I was getting a lot of information, but I didn't have the tools to translate it. So a lot of information coming in, but I didn't know what was going on. I totally thought I was crazy. So I started meditating and that calmed it. And then I found this form of meditation which is all sort-of clairvoyant based, and it made sense of my whole life. I was like “Oh my god...this was that, and this was that…” None of anything I felt was mine. I was just taking on the whole world’s pain and suffering my whole life. It gave me the tools to separate and make sense of what’s my energy, what’s other people's energy. Now I can read other peoples energy and help them out without going down the rabbit hole with them. So yeah, I thought I was crazy and then I realized I was intuitive. I think that is why people in class would always choose me to do their readings...I think I have always been sensitive, I just didn't know that that’s what it was.
Can you explain what it looks like or feels like when this is happening? How does the information present itself?
One of the tools I teach is called “Center of the Head”...you go into your sixth chakra and it is just like watching a movie. All these images come in and there is always a message behind the image. It’s funner than TV. It’s so fun! And we will discuss things, kind of like therapy, before people get on the table, so I will have a few thoughts of where we are going, but the reading always blows me away as much as the client. It is usually a ton of images coming in and out. When I describe the images, they will shape shift and change form and turn into other images and I will describe those and so on.
Are there things that can affect the accuracy of a reading?
I love this question. Not necessarily the accuracy, but I do get some skeptics. They will fight me with everything I’m saying. Like “No, that’s not true...no, that’s not true.” I kinda love that because a month later I will get an email saying, “Oh my god! You said this and this happened!” So, there are different grades of resistance, which make it a little tougher for me to stay grounded and keep them grounded and read. But still, there’s always a reading involved...it’s just a little more work on my part. Accuracy isn't so much affected, it’s more if they are ready to receive the information. But they are paying for it, you know...it is an exchange of energy, so there is a contract. On spirit level they are ready for it, even if their mind and ego is not ready for it. Sure enough, even when they are pushing back, it does sink in.
Is there a process to help your intuitive abilities? Is meditation something that enhances it?
I think I’m gifted - I think we all are. It is just a matter of tapping into it. I know it comes super easily to me, and after witnessing enough students go through my program and after taking classes with other students, I realize that I just got it immediately. The reading is the easy part, but I will get in my brain if I don't meditate. I will get a migraine if I don't manage the energy. It doesn't so much affect a reading as much as it affects my health. If I read and don't meditate at the end of the night, and don't clear out all that energy, it adversely affects me. So, I do meditate 5 times a week, I have to. Exercise makes a difference. Being in nature makes a difference. Eating right makes a difference. Just basic self-care stuff. For me, nature..Oh my god, nature recharges me more than any of the above.
Do you have a favorite local spot that you go to get a bit of nature?
I live in the East Village. There is a really cute community garden on C and 7th, I want to say. There are community gardens all over, but that one in particular I love hanging out at. So that’s the local spot. There is a monastery called Blue Cliff Monastery, it’s like 90 minutes north of here. It’s Thich Nhat Hanh’s monastery...they have a sister monastery in Deer Park in San Diego, and I used to go there regularly.
How do you teach people to tap into their own intuitive abilities?
I always say it’s experiential. It’s not an intellectual activity, it’s an intuitive activity. I always encourage students just to practice...just keep practicing. Because their experience with the material will help them out with the material so much more than all the books in the world or my personal experience...They are not in my body. I just encourage a lot of practice because that is when it comes through. In the class that I teach, I pair people up and have them read each other. There is often a ton of self doubt, and self doubt will block it. That is the number 1 block that I have noticed.
There is always a story behind the image, but the intuitive doesn't always know that. So I guide them in drowning out self doubt and just have them practice as much as possible. I create that safe space for them to practice. I’m always like “Keep practicing….don't take my word for it, just keep practicing.” Because it is experiential. And sure enough, the people that have the hardest time with it, always have an “aha” moment.
Also, not everybody “sees” the information, some people just “hear” it and they are spot on. Some people will “feel” it, which I am not into because it’s exhausting. All the chakras are energy centers where we take in information from the world. If you are clairsentient, and you are taking information through your second chakra - which is all those “feelings”- it really taxes the body. A lot of people do receive information that way. That is how I used to do it before I elevated it to my Sahaswara [motions her hands to her forehead]. It is just teaching those students to just elevate it….try making this the antenna [pointing to her head], instead of this being the antenna [points to her stomach]. So it is just meeting people where they are and guiding them towards it...however they need it.
Do you find that more people come to you to see if they have this gift? Or they already feel it or know it and want to fine tune it?
A little bit of both. For some people getting a lot of information can be really overwhelming. It can be confusing and really disempowering. I actually get less of that. I think those people, even though they are probably a little bit more gifted, they’re so overwhelmed with it that it’s hard to take that initial step or its hard to make sense of what’s going on. I think they are all feeling what I was feeling, like, “Oh, I’m just crazy..this isn't intuition, I’m just nuts.” I don't see as much of that as I would like to, but I have had a few cases. And the cases I have seen are all professional intuitives now. But people who tend to take the classes are just kinda trying something new or are conscious of it, but are not on information overload. They’re in a lighter space where they can receive information. If you are full of stuff, it is hard to learn something new. The majority of the students aren't “full” of stuff...they are all just checking it out, learning new life skills, and they all do awesome. But, yeah, I would like to access more of the people who are “trapped” in it...isolated...they are so busy judging themselves for how they are feeling.
What are all the different tools you use in your practice?
Acupuncture, oils, and fire cups, which work on the lymphatic system. They boost energy and circulation, they are great for muscle aches and pains..stuff like that. I use moxa, I use herbs, I use crystal bowls. If I had more space I would get one of these for every chakra, this one is for the seventh chakra which is self-actualization. The vibration is the same as your seventh chakra. So since we are all made up of moving energy, our nervous systems and our energy systems will respond to this. Also there are crystals in the walls, ground up crystals in the paint - the vibration from this crystal bowl resonates with the crystals in the walls, and they just do this loop system, which our body attunes to. I do this every session. Oils, the needles, herbs. I do prescribe some supplements when necessary and meditation.
You believe there’s a spiritual component to every manifestation of disease. Can you talk a bit more about this? It seems like the US, in particular, is becoming one of the unhealthiest nations...Why do you think that is?
Probably because the US is disconnected from spirituality, but I think there is a shift happening. Let me give you a practical example: I had a client who was kind of in survival mode. Just like, “What is my purpose in life? What am I doing here?” Vedic system talk: that is very root chakra, which commands your lower back. Chinese medicine theory talk: it’s the water element, fears and survival stuff, which commands your lower back. Of course he fell and broke his coxis - his lower back. Initially, he didn't have any body aches and pains, but he was coming in for these very emotional things, and we were working out his water element through his chakra. Then he broke his lower back and had to be hospitalized and just chill, which takes a lot of trust.
And again, if that water element is out of balance, you feel super fearful and like “I’m gonna die.” If in balance, you are trusting the process and all is well, and trusting the universe to have your back, trusting your family to have your back, just trusting yourself to have your back. So, he was forced to trust. Forced into it. That’s a very real example...I don't think he just fell...why would he break his lower back? His coxis? The very root chakra of all places?! Why didn't he break his shoulder? Why didn't he break his ribs? That’s an awesome example of how there is a spiritual component to everything. And in Chinese medicine, and everything I believe in, mind, body, and spirit are all connected...They don't even separate them. They don't say mind. body. spirit. in chinese medicine. If they are talking about mind, they are also talking about body. So the rehabilitation he had with the coxis does rehabilitate his root chakra and his relationship with trust.
When it comes to meditation, do you have suggestions for someone wanting to start out?
1. The fact that you even want to start...congratulate yourself. The fact that you even want to is awesome. Even if you don't today, you thought about it and that’s a great start right there. You are already in tune with that process. And just keep congratulating yourself rather than judging yourself...I think self judgement comes up a lot. So even if you sat still for 5 minutes and didn't meditate and just thought - you sat still for 5 minutes and that is more than you did yesterday. Keep it in the positive and celebrate the fact that you're desiring to do this and try not to focus too much on “Am I doing it right?” or attach it to outcome, like “Oh, if I feel zen, I’m meditating.” Just more focus on your own personal behavior and what you are doing differently than yesterday, rather than how you are feeling in the beginning.
2. Amusement is a cool trick. If you are coming up on stubborn energy or you're judging yourself and it’s frustrating you more than it’s creating peace...just having a go-to funny moment that you're laughing about helps break up that energy and helps you chill and actually meditate. It helps. It helps a lot. If you are telling yourself to stop, it works against you..you are so focused on “stop” and it contracts your energy field, and meditation expands it. So if you are laughing at yourself like, “There you are, self judging again...ha ha ha,” then it is lighter and more expansive.
Do you have any advice for people who are trying to make life changes or big transitions?
Yes. Support for sure. Group activities, I think people get bogged down if they are alone. Even if it is calling your best friend more often or joining meditation circles with a bunch of strangers...there’s a lot of free meetups, free group activities. There’s power in numbers. Sometimes collective consciousness will help uplift you and get you in alignment with your vision and get you thinking on your own..thinking about your visions and thinking about all the obstacles. And just like with the meditation, celebrate that you are moving forward, celebrate that you are even thinking this and take it easy.
What I think interferes is the self judgment or people getting overwhelmed with the mountain ahead of them. One step at a time - baby steps are steps. If you are trying to take on that whole mountain and it intimidates you, you move backwards and that’s not a step. I’m big into success journals, so at the end of the day whatever you did do that is in alignment with your vision - celebrate that. So, even if it’s like, “I only sent out one email to that one person,” you sent out and email, you know...celebrate successes. It will subconsciously program you to do more the next day, and then do more the next day. But if you are sending out an email and holding it against yourself that you only sent out that one email...saying “I didn't do that...I should have done this...I didn’t do shit…” Then it’s like, why would you ever want to do more if you're beating yourself up for your accomplishments? So, celebrate the baby steps.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Oh, I love this! “Do it now.” “Just do it.” And it’s spiritual, but it’s not... it’s just practical - Just do it.
Do you have a morning ritual?
Before I get out of bed, I always meditate a little bit and just go over everything I am grateful for. That is a requirement...I am not allowed out of bed unless I do my gratitude thinking. Then I oil pull every morning, I do the neti pot every morning, I dry skin brush every morning, I take a green vibrance [a super food supplement], and then I really meditate. I do the gratitude thinking before getting out of bed, and then I light a candle and light incense and actually sit upright and meditate...and that could vary from 5 minutes, to 20 minutes, to an hour depending on the day, but I do that before leaving the house - especially if I am coming into work. I have to set the intention for work. I always listen to music in the morning, and the music might change from day-to-day, but that makes a difference too.
What are your current music choices? Things you are listening to lately?
There’s two things. It's between Ravi Shankar and Robyn lately. Ravi Shankar is just so chilled out. If I am feeling like I have a big work day ahead of me, then Ravi Shankar. If I am feeling like I want a boost of energy - Robyn.
What do you envision your best self to be? And does your job sort of allow for that?
I love this. My job requires it. It has kept me so healthy. I used to party so much more but I can't do that and then come in to work. So yeah, my job is forcing that on me in a beautiful way.
The future vision is: traveling…..and this vision has been consistent from childhood. I just want to travel the world and learn about medicine from witch doctors, shamans, and medicine women throughout the world practicing indigenous medicine and learning from them. That’s a major goal for me.
And expanding Nuurvana so that there are more intuitive acupuncturists and even more intuitive modalities like intuitive massage and intuitive pilates. I just hired on my first intuitive acupuncture team member, her name is Janelle. I do think we are all intuitive, and I do think there is that spiritual component to everything. So expanding Nuurvana so that this whole spiritual realm and intuition becomes a very real practical thing and a practical way of maintaining health and a conversation piece for New Yorkers. So, having this here in a really solid way and me travelling around the world and learning more.