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May. 1, 2008 by Marti

West Maui Wellness Center - WOW!

The ladies of my family had a discussion over Easter brunch this year about how different scents often create powerful associations. My sister noted she loves the smell of lavender (who doesn't?) while another confessed to swooning at a mere sniff of eucalyptus at her favorite spa.

Hearing my sisters wax poetic about sea algae and rosewater, it occurred to me that I'd typically visited a spa only during times of duress and not often enough when things were going well. This had left me, ironically, associating otherwise heart-warming aromas and pampering with trying times.

The good news is that awareness is the first step toward positive change. I made a vow to visit a spa more often when things were just fine; even though I didn't really need it, and solely because I enjoy it.

A little more soul-searching had me asking myself, "If I enjoy spa treatments so much why do I not indulge myself in them more often?" It couldn't be the cost – I spend that much regularly on shoes I don't really need. Perhaps it was because I hadn't found the right place – the perfect spa that made me truly comfortable, welcomed, and relaxed.

If only there were a place near to home that didn't require my traipsing through a big glitzy resort, yet offered upscale ambiance; a top-notch facility with knowledgeable practitioners. I meditated on the matter, hoping to manifest a non-judgmental spa that wouldn't oversell their products or make me feel subtly inferior when it was disclosed that my chakras were out of alignment. I wanted a therapist who would treat me as a real person and not just another body requiring serious adjustment after a lifetime of bad habits.

I put my intention out into the universe and, as always, the universe responded in the form of the West Maui Wellness Center. Courtney Jonson, M.S., L.Ac., Dipl. O.M., who graduated from Five Branches Institute, College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Santa Cruz, California and earned a Masters Degree in Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Tuina Massage, Chinese Dietetics and Qi Gong, and Laura Markison, MAC, who graduated from Saint Edwards University in Austin, Texas, where she earned her Masters Degree in counseling with a background in nutrition and Chinese Medicine, recently opened the chic facility in Honokawai, in answer to my dreams, of course. This is the spa I would have designed were I running the world. It is small but inviting; neighborly but sophisticated.

West Maui Wellness isn't just about pampering. Ms Jonson is board certified in the state of California and Hawaii and is nationally recognized in Hawaii as a Diplomat of Oriental Medicine. She and her partner are dedicated to bringing all the latest treatments and services to their clients including acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, BioTerrain Testing and Metabolic Nutrition counseling. Theirs is a holistic, all natural approach to keeping clients healthy and beautiful both inside and out. An extensive selection of herbal remedies and supplements is available for purchase to accentuate your good health regimen along with a scrumptious selection of aromatherapy products and gift items.

Although I'm intrigued to eventually have my metabolic imbalances assessed and to someday use the metabolic service to heighten my overall health, today I was there for the pampering – the aromatherapy facial, in particular. After checking in and helping myself to soothing herbal tea I was greeted by my therapist, Marti. Bright-eyed, warm and delightful, she guided me into a cozy and beautiful treatment room. Face down on the warm table I prepared myself for 90 minutes of bliss that was to follow. Starting with a Thai Herbal Massage whereby a heated, herb filled compress was placed up and down the meridians of my spine. Following the treatment I rolled over onto my newly restored back for the piece de resistance – the facial.

But first, Marti used a special product gathered from the depths of the sea to scrub my arms and hands. The mixture left my tanned arms as soft as a baby's bottom; the fine grains had sloughed away any hint of dry skin or old cells. During the course of the facial treatment she attended to my feet, massaged my head, detoxified my skin, worked out a few kicks in my shoulders and of course, performed a miracle of skin restoration on my face. Everything she did felt heavenly but more importantly I was left with remarkably radiant skin.

The mere intention of going to a spa results in immediate improvement. It signals that you are taking care of and valuing yourself, and desiring to look and feel your best. It's a great start so why not seek out the place that also makes you feel most pampered and at ease? Why not engage a therapist who really knows her stuff in a place that really cares?

As Marti explained, "I've worked in the business for 25 years and absolutely love working at West Maui Wellness. The intention of the owners is sincere; they really care about the people here and the outcome of the services they provide, which makes all the difference in the world. It's a well-run business, but more importantly the positive attitude filters down and is felt in the treatment itself. The results are obvious to the client."

I couldn't agree more. Count me in as a regular.


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