Finding a Better World

Psychedelic Healing Shack of Detroit aims to help others heal themselves and the community

Hippies. Professionals. The lost. The hungry. Blue-collar workers. White-collar workers. Free spirits. They all find their way to Detroit’s Psychedelic Healing Shack.

As you cruise north on Woodward Avenue toward metro Detroit’s suburbs, the little building just south of Seven Mile Road catches your eye. It’s uniquely painted with beautiful colors and designs. It feels welcoming and fun.

It is.

The welcoming begins before you walk in the door. People of all ages, races, and creeds are gathered outside, most by a bonfire pit. Some sit on chairs up on a treehouse deck.

Once inside, homemade vegan food aromas waft through the air. More people welcome you. A seating area has plants and a chessboard. More people sit at the bar or tables in the dining area.

There are books, healing trinkets, and a wellness store with a large amount of herbs, as well as organic and non-GMO household products.

The Shack is presided over by Dr. Bob, aka Dr. Robert Pizzimenti, a licensed chiropractor. He started his own little Shangri-La in 2000, knowing it would be healing place. He just wasn’t sure how it would come together. But after some hardships, his vision became clear and friends rallied to help.

The Psychedelic Healing Shack has evolved organically into an eclectic collaboration of positive people: a place for people to join a quest for a better world — to do their part to heal themselves and the earth through sustainable living, arts, food, gratitude, forgiveness, nature’s herbs, and community.

One of those positive people is named Ant Head. He tends the Alchemical Artifacts area, where he sells crystals and stones. He can tell you all about them. He can also tell you the Shack is where he needs to be.

“There’s definitely a flow of energy … that is happening here, and people comment that it’s much higher frequency or a higher resonance than normal,” Head says.

Head also helps in the Golden Gate Café, as well as performs reiki and Chinese fire cupping, an alternative therapy that entails placing cups on the skin to create suction.

He also gives advice to anyone who may need it, and wants to help Pizzimenti create a space for people to come together to change Detroit.

“People have been inspired by what is happening here and they take it (to) the rest of the community,” Head says. “We work together with several different organizations in the area that are working to change the community … You know, move more towards self sustainability, working with agriculture. …”

Head might sit down and play his didgeridoo (a wind instrument developed by Australian aborigines) or talk about the “hive mind” mentality. They hope to build greenhouses around the shack so they can grow food and worry less about money, nurturing and caring about each other like a beehive or ant colony.

The Shack hosts many eclectic events. Anyone who wants to beat a drum or play an instrument is welcome to join the weekly Wednesday night drumming circles (from 8 p.m. until “late”).

Head’s favorite experience was a full moon drumming circle. He says everyone was linked in music and mind, and when the drumming stopped, Pizzimenti asked everyone to join hands. They all “ohmed,” said a prayer, meditated, spoke from their hearts, and in the end, howled at the moon.

The Shack hosts music nights, spiritual nights, and open mic nights the first and third Fridays of the month. But you never know what may come together. Pizzimenti is more than willing to open his doors to an enriching event.

Sit down to talk with Pizzimenti, and you soon find he has strong beliefs about what’s wrong with the world today.

“The last place in the world I would go for healing would be a hospital,” he says. “(The) last place I’d go for my spirituality would be most churches, (the) last place I’d go for food would be most restaurants. … It’s like the land of backwards.

“I do think I have the answer — and that is to heal yourself,” he says. “It’s David and Goliath all over again. And how do you kill the monster? You kill the monster by healing yourself.”

Pizzimenti doesn’t push his herbs or practices on everyone who walks through the doors. Yet people have come from all over the country to experience the healing center and help with their mission: healing people and giving them the tools to go out and heal.

And while Pizzimenti feels the system — and the world — is corrupt, he says there’s hope for answers to the bigger questions.

“I love the youth,” he says. “(They) see the writing on the wall, and they’re wide open and they’re not interested in corporate America.”

What does Pizzimenti hope his center will achieve?

“Bring heaven on earth, basically,” he says, with a comforting smile. “I think love will win.”

18700 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-366-2247,