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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Innovative Bodywork Techniques at the Spa at Willow Pond

by Sheila Julson

Over the years, massage and other spa services have become more than just luxurious pampering. As people become aware of the therapeutic benefits of bodywork like massage and detoxification wraps, spas are catering to people not only seeking a tranquil escape from today’s wild world, but to also improve their health naturally. Gail L., a registered nurse and owner of The Spa at Willow Pond, in Sinking Spring, has seen this trend and tailored her staff and services to best serve her clients’ overall wellness needs.

“We have a great team of therapists that recommend to clients what they might need, versus just giving them a treatment and sending them on their way,” she emphasizes. The spa offers an array of massage and body wraps that can help aid in everything from liver and organ detoxification, to lymphatic drainage and cellular cleansing.

Recently added services include zero gravity massages, which she says aids in deep tissue massage with ultrasound, LED lighting and infrared rays. According to her, this type of phototherapy was originally used for facials to rejuvenate skin and stimulate collagen, and they realized it could benefit the entire body.

“The lights warm the achy parts of the body,” says the spa owner. “It’s effective for anybody who has tight, sore muscles and finds a deep tissue massage, where the therapist digs deep into the muscles, too uncomfortable.”

The Spa at Willow Pond has brought more massage therapists on board their wellness team over the past year. She says each brings different types of massages to the table. Also new are the lymphatic drainage massages, which stimulate and encourage the movement of lymph fluids around the body to remove waste and toxins from tissues.

“Edema is one of the symptoms of congested lymph glands,” she explains. They often get doctor referrals for patients that recently had bariatric surgery and whose lymphatic systems are compromised.

The Spa at Willow Pond recently welcomed a new esthetician, Jessie S., that designed offerings such as the mermaid facial, which includes Dead Sea salts for exfoliation, followed by an organic detoxification mask with Dead Sea clay and French clay.

She worked in a dermatologist’s office and also brings medical assistant experience to The Spa at Willow Pond. In addition, natural whole herbs have been added to their body wrap treatments. 

According to the owner, spa services are an opportunity to educate people on health issues. “The ionized foot bath can show someone if they’re dehydrated,” she says. “I’ll show them the discolored water from the foot bath, which determines which organ is detoxifying. It can be a diagnostic tool. After people get our detox services, they often leave saying that their joints don’t hurt, and they have improved mental clarity.”

The Spa at Willow Pond also offers Ideal Protein, a ketogenic weight loss and weight management program. “People generally lose about three to five pounds a week, and it reduces inflammation and helps with blood pressure and joint issues,” notes the owner.

Ideal Protein is based on the ketosis diet, which reduces glucose so the body instead burns stored fats for energy. “It has highly absorbable protein that you don’t get in most programs.”

She concludes that the program is more flexible in that users can add vegetables to the pre-packaged meals and also enjoy one meal of their choice. Staff at The Spa at Willow Pond offer Ideal Protein consults, and clients can purchase the meal packages on site.

The Spa at Willow Pond is located at 1487 Old Lancaster Pike, in Sinking Spring. For more information, call 610-406-5733 or visit 

Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.


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