By Cameron Rasmusson
Editor’s Note: New businesses are springing up all over Sandpoint this summer, and here at the Reader, we’re making an effort to introduce them to the community. Are you a new business owner in the greater Sandpoint area? Contact Cameron Rasmusson at [email protected] for consideration in future articles.
Don’t call it a foot massage. There’s a lot more going on at Unwind Wellness and Reflexology.
According to owner and certified practitioner Katie Smith, there’s a link between the reflex points at the bottom of the feet and the organs and glands throughout the body. Reflexology is all about manipulating those reflex points to relieve tension and stress.
While Smith is clear that her practice isn’t suited for diagnosing, treating or healing medical conditions, she said it’s a great option for people seeking to release tension or manage pain.
“I like to describe it as acupuncture without the needles,” she said.
That makes the difference for her clients, Smith added. Some have reported stellar results in achieving relief from migraines. One woman with a degenerative spinal condition was able to cut back on her use of narcotics to manage her pain. Other clients come to Smith seeking to manage stress and anxiety. Retired people often have trouble from neuropathy, a tingly numbness in their hands or feet. Smith also offers pro-bono sessions to people undergoing cancer treatments.
A typical session with a new client will begin with a sit-down to complete forms and a short consultation. Smith asks about the physical problems and pain the client might be dealing with, as well as the stress and anxiety affecting daily life. She also often asks about the medical treatments they’re receiving to address underlying causes.
“I am careful to make sure that they have seen a doctor,” Smith said.
From beginning to end, a reflexology session is a spa experience — and that means relaxation. Housed in Cedar Day Spa, Unwind Wellness and Reflexology includes water fountains, essential oils and massage tables to put clients in a mellow state of mind. The session itself lasts about an hour, is fully clothed and designed to be pain-free. Some clients chat through the session, while “some people fall asleep and snore because they’re so relaxed,” Smith said. “It’s a deeply relaxing experience.”
It was a long road that led to Smith opening her business. Introduced to reflexology by local practitioner Penny Waters, her influence was a guiding force in Smith achieving certification from the International Institute of Reflexology in June, which involved training in five states and 500 practicum hours.
“She took me under her wing, and that was the start of it,” Smith said.
With the opening of Unwind Wellness and Reflexology, Smith hopes to continue Waters’ legacy.
“It was very meaningful to me personally to receive that treatment, and I wanted to offer it to other people, too,” she said.
Call Cedar Day Spa at 208-263-7454 to book an appointment.
The addition of wine improves most things, and painting is no exception.
It’s the underlying appeal to the growing trend of paint-and-sip parties. At new business Uncorked Paint, local artist and instructor Kem Hughes Davis knows how to promote a fun atmosphere while teaching party goers a thing or two about painting.
“Lots of times I have a group of girls who do girls’ nights out to go out and socialize and get to know each other better,” Davis said. “It’s a chance to show your creative side as well.”
The idea is to give locals a central place for paint-and-sip events without the need to drive to a larger city. Thanks to its location next to Creations in the Cedar Street Bridge Public Market, Uncorked Painting occupies something of an art hub in Sandpoint.
Paint-and-sip parties are a popular option for bachelorette and birthday parties or team-building events. They combine the light, fun atmosphere of a night on the town with the satisfaction of learning a new skill with a personally crafted masterpiece to take home by the night’s end.
While wine is perhaps the most popular drink with which to sit at the easel, participants can bring anything they wish to the BYOB events. They can also grab food and drink at the public market.
Uncorked Paint offers weekly events featuring canvas painting, board painting workshops, framed screen painting and many other creative projects. Or book a private party for a set group of people. Go to the event calendar at uncorkedpaint.com/event-calendar/, choose an open date for the party and fill in the details and payment options. A selection of featured painting options is available on facebook.com/uncorkedpaintsandpoint.
“People who are visiting really like to do these mountain scenes I do,” Davis said. “Sunsets with mountains are the most popular.”
Private events include two-and-a-half hours of exclusive studio use, which gives partygoers more than enough time to stretch their creative muscles. No need to worry about brushes, aprons, easels or any other equipment — Uncorked Paint provides everything but the food and drink.
“I think everyone has a creative side,” Davis said. “They want to play, and they don’t want to set a schedule where they go in for art classes.”
Email [email protected] or call 208-219-7915 to set up an event.
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