Along North Dixie Highway in Lantana, a nondescript white office building sits next to the garage of an auto and tire store—the name above the door reads: Metaphysical Healing Institute of Palm Beach (MHIPB). A fractal triangle juxtaposes the unusual name, and behind the glass double doors is a holistic world willed into existence by its founder, Nicole Zuralow.
“Coming from a marketing background, it’s definitely not a name I would recommend for a business to use,” says Zuralow, who founded the institute in 2018 as a space for growth and transformation. “This place is like a toolbox; people come in here and they do the work, and we help guide them.”
The work, which Zuralow has completed herself, is geared toward reaching an “undoing” process, which she describes as “being ready to go into the hard stuff and really take a look at yourself and be responsible for the things you’ve created in your life and the changes you’re willing to make.” The “tools” that the institute offers include acupuncture, massage therapy, life coaching, breathwork and more.
Zuralow, 38, is a long way from her previous, hectic career in sales for the food and beverage industry. There is no hint of the fast-paced life in the deep, soothing blue of her office walls or the idyllic Japanese screen painting of a peacock on the wall. Nor in the lobby of the institute, where golden Budhha paintings and a bright, kaleidoscopic mandala adorn the walls. This is a place of peace, and she is its keeper.
Zuralow has been honing her holistic craft for 14 years, from traveling India to sitting with shamans of plant medicine in South America. But despite all of the globe-trotting grandeur, Zuralow’s journey started in the quainter suburbs of Farifax, Virginia, where she had a childhood that she describes as lightly supervised and a “barefoot-in-the-creek kind of thing” and then on to a course in Buddhism at Mary Baldwin College (MBC) which she credits as planting the seed of spirituality.
After studying at MBC, Zuralow moved to South Florida to finish her education in marketing and graphic design at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. After graduating, she landed a cushy sales job for a vodka company and began working on the side as a transformation coach, taking courses in gratitude training and mindset management á la Tony Robbins.
“I was always working on myself before I became a teacher,” says Zuralow, and that her training allowed her to “see what was working in [her] life and what wasn’t, and take accountability for those things.”
This meant leaving a job that was not in line with her passion. “Having the job and the salary, and the title, are all things that society teaches us that we’re supposed to do and have and that make us successful, but what I was really feeling was that I wasn’t successful at all, and I started to wonder why that was.”
In 2018, her boyfriend passed away suddenly, and she describes this loss resonating as a voice screaming at “max volume” that she needed to make a change. “I needed something to occupy my mind, because otherwise I was going to spiral into a really bad depression,” says Zuralow. “Looking back on it now, I don’t even know how I did it,” she says, citing the 14-hour workdays she put in during the early days of setting up the business, a flood during the first year, and then the next disaster, COVID.
But despite these setbacks, the institute was able to flourish. “We built this business really during COVID, and I think that’s important, because it’s a testament to … where people are moving toward as far as the way that they look at their health.”
The MHIPB’s holistic approach to health is not new but is slowly gaining mainstream acceptance. Johns Hopkins University has developed its own alternative medicine program, which includes more spiritual health practices like Reiki healing. But spirituality, Zuralow says, is not a requirement for clients at the MHIPB.
“Spirituality is like the sprinkles that go on top,” she says. “You can have sprinkles or no sprinkles; it’s your choice.” Zuralow says she focuses on meeting clients “where they’re at,” and that regardless of spiritual or religious background, all are welcome to practice at the institute.
Zuralow herself is a practitioner of numerous modalities, with a shelf in her office nearly overflowing with framed certifications in techniques including Reiki, hypnotherapy and emotional freedom techniques. For Zuralow, modalities like the ones offered at the institute are what ultimately allowed her the ability to transform her own life. “I was able to heal and get past so much of that depression and darkness in a way that is still mind-blowing to me,” she says, adding that she’s found peace after discovering the tools to “transmute that energy, that darkness, into light.”