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A holistic approach to feeling better

The fa ade of The Center, located within the shell of a former church in Auburn, gives little indication of what lies inside the gray stone walls.

Winding hallways reveal room after room equipped with health spa commodities nestled into various styles of soothing d (c)cor. Each treatment room is as unique in function as it is in color scheme. A room with rich golden walls and pink and chocolate accents is perfect for a couple looking to escape everyday stresses that can burden any relationship. A fireplace blazes above an oversized hydra-jet tub with a Chromatherapy feature in which lightbulbs produce various colors intended to stimulate relaxation.

Another treatment room features a massage table complemented by a personal steam shower.

"We have a lot of individuals, especially our professional men, who are coming in stressed from whatever is happening at work," explains Mary Ann Giacona, founder of The Center. They often request a steam shower to precede a massage. "They'll do their steam and really be able to detox," she says, in order to discard any outside stress and achieve total relaxation from the massage.

Giacona, a certified Holistic Health practitioner specializing in Energy Medicine, is a strong advocate of patience and self-trust for herself and for her clients. When her former office, a second story walk-up, became inconvenient and at times impossible for her elderly and chronically ill clients to access comfortably, Giacona began to realize that her vision for holistic healing and wellness would be much better served in another location.

What is it that needs to be created? Giacona remembers asking herself, shortly before embarking on her quest to expand her small practice into a sanctuary for healing arts and spa therapy. She began by telling people that she was in the market for a new location, asking friends and colleagues to keep their eyes and ears open for any piece of real estate that might suitably accommodate her vision.

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