The Best Spa Therapists

Continued (page 4 of 6)

Most patients seek pain relief but Katharine also treats allergies, asthma, PMS and menstrual problems, digestive issues, and colds and flus. Katharine is also an herbalist with a fully stocked pharmacy and she practices cupping, a Chinese healing technique using heated cups.

Katharine is quick to say acupuncture does not cure all problems for everyone, but she has amazing stories of how it helped a pilot who could barely walk and a woman with fertility problems. She says most ailments can be cured in five to ten sessions and often she will counsel clients on changes in diet, especially if they are suffering from an inflammatory illness. Others come to Katharine when they have a general feeling of malaise – when’s the last time you were able to see your doctor when you were just feeling icky? “It’s easier to treat something before it turns into a disease,” says Katharine. “In China they have seasonal treatments to keep the body from getting sick – we don’t value that as much here in the West.”

Sedona Monthly Recommends… Acupuncture with cupping
We’ve recommended acupuncture and, specifically, Katharine to friends suffering from allergies, neck pain, and flu. Acupuncture is incredibly relaxing and, in our experience, the benefits last longer than massage. Cupping is a strange, intense sensation – Katharine describes it as an octopus on your back – but it should be painless. That said, the resulting purple and red circles look terrible, but they don’t feel like bruises and last only a few days. Over time, areas that were deep purple, i.e., of deep stagnation, fade, indicating tension is lessening in that spot. We always love results we can see.

Katharine Stewart
Katharine Stewart Acupuncture

Appointments taken Mon. to Fri., from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Acupuncture, acumassage (acupuncture coupled with Swedish massage), ­cupping, and herbs

Elke Waehrisch: Sedona’s New Day Spa

Elke Waehrisch, better known as Ritmo to clients of New Day Spa, moved to Sedona from Germany four years ago and immediately immersed herself in the local spa scene. She became co-owner of Body Bliss, the local company that produces organic products used at many spas in Red Rock Country, including New Day Spa, where Elke began working part-time. Elke took a weekend course in massage when she was young and spent several months learning deep tissue massage and structural balance in Italy, eventually opening a private practice in Germany. But she says she didn’t fully understand the spa business until she began working at New Day Spa.

“I learned there are different elements to a spa here in the U.S.,” she says, her German accent still audible. “It’s not just about the products or the treatments but the details. Clients want to relax from the beginning. They want a beautiful space with a friendly staff – they need to be pampered and treated like a queen but still have fun. I enjoy how much fun people have at a spa and I think the relaxation they achieve is a miracle.”

Elke now spends much of her time training the 15 therapists at New Day Spa, which completed a major remodeling and expansion a few months ago. It now includes a large, contemporary waiting room with a free snack bar, a women’s lounge with showers and a sauna, and a state-of-the-art vichy shower room. Elke says the entire staff comes up with new treatments – the spa debuted a brand-new menu last month. She says she loves giving body treatments because it calms her almost as much as it calms her client. “It’s just me and [the client],” she says. “It’s relaxing and calming to be present in what you are doing.”

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