By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY -- At a unique spa near downtown Stuart, registered nurse Beverly Casper is combining her knowledge of modern medicine with ancient practices, and offering clients a distinct and holistic approach to health.
Her company, A Cleansing Path, creates a detailed profile of each client. It then offers yoga, meditation, massage, colon hydrotherapy and education about diet and overall health to set them on a path to wellness.
The goal, the nurse said, is to give clients the resources they need to begin the journey of fixing what ails them.
"The real reasons Americans go to hospitals these days are related to digestive disorders. It's estimated about 60 million are prone to digestive disorders, medications for these disorders top the list of all medications sold," said Ms. Casper, a former clinician at a gastrointestinal unit in Massachusetts.
"Stomach pain, heartburn and acid reflux so intense it can sometimes resemble a heart attack, that's what this is all about. We have to go beyond treating the symptoms and treat the root conditions."
And the roots of most conditions, she said, lie in the colon.
"Mostly this is a subject that's never talked about, though, because we're going down into the deepest, darkest, dankest cavity of our body," Ms. Casper said. "Our colon holds all of our innermost secrets."
That's why A Cleansing Path offers colon hydrotherapy, also called colonics or colonic irrigation, designed to eliminate waste and toxins from the digestive system, relieving constipation and often releasing pounds of hardened feces.
"You need to start with the colon. Colonics are not a cure-all, but they're a jumpstart to getting the body up and going," said Ms. Casper, a certified and state-licensed professional. "They can be a start along the path of healing."
The approach is proving successful, leading Ms. Casper to expand her operation and seek an additional massage therapist to join her team.
To keep the focus on long-term wellbeing, the spa offers clients a 90-minute consultation at no charge to discuss their medical history, symptoms and a holistic plan that considers diet, exercise and strategies for stress relief.
Reflexology and work on the body's lymphatic system are also key specializations for Ms. Casper, a licensed massage therapist since 1999.
With 90- and 60-minute massage options that promote neuromuscular health, clients get pampered with organic body lotion, hot stones and warmed aromatherapy towels.
Clients also have the option of participating in yoga, another key specialty at A Cleansing Path. One of the spa's packages offers a 45-minute Yin yoga session that includes postures, which open kidney, liver and gallbladder meridians in the body for improved energy and muscle relaxation.
Other poses focus on the hips and lower spine, and incorporate easy postures that clients can repeat at home.
"These are the building blocks," Ms. Casper said.
The mission, she added, is to pay attention to the mind and body. At A Cleansing Path, this attentiveness is obvious at the front door. Wall colors and décor in each room reflect the colors of the chakras, the seven main energy centers of the body.
Even the bathroom, with its small foot rest called a Squatty Potty, promotes the correct position for aligning the colon for efficient waste elimination.
In the massage and waiting rooms, lamps made of sea salt release ions that help clean the air. Products, such as plant protein fiber, are also available to aid digestion.
Monthly specials, discounts for seniors and bulk rates encourage clients at all income-levels to work toward health and fitness.
"You have to start somewhere," Ms. Casper said.
A Cleansing Path is located at 915 S.E. Ocean Blvd, Suite 4, Stuart. Sessions are available by appointment only. To make an appointment, call (772) 341-9178. To order the Squatty Potty and other products, visit www.ACleansingPath.MassageTherapy.com.