Barefoot massage in Breckenridge? It’s a thing
Harmony Health Massage and Wellness Spa
Services: Massage (Ashiatsu, deep tissue, sports recovery, Thai), Prana healing and other mind-body therapies with owner Inanna Hall. Spa services include botanical facials, manicures, pedicures, oxygen therapy and waxing.
Where: 326 S. Main Street in Breckenridge
Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Same-day reservations are available for spa services. The owner suggests calling a week or two in advance for massages, multi-part sessions and groups. To make a reservation, call the spa or book online at www.harmonyhealthmassage.com.
Spring Spa Skin Event
What: An introduction to holistic skin care, including skin consultations and herbal enzyme peel facials.
When: Friday, April 10 from noon to 5 p.m.
Where: Harmony Health Massage and Wellness Spa
Cost: $20 for admission, $50 for 30-minute facial
Base admission includes wine, finger foods, mini sessions (manicure and chair massage), and the holistic skin-care class from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Call the spa before April 10 to register for the event.
Not all massages are created equal.
At Harmony Health Massage and Wellness Spa, located right in the heart of downtown Breckenridge, owner Inanna Hall believes a massage can be — and should be — much more than simply palming sore muscles while playing a few mellow tunes.
“There’s a certain type of person looking for us,” Hall said on a tour around her recently remodeled space on Main Street. “They’re sore, they’re open-minded and they’re looking for a bit of self-care, that TLC concept. And we’re committed to the person. I’m not just rubbing on your muscles — I’m finding out more about you as a person, about what you need.”
Over the past 20 years, Hall has traveled the globe, crafting a personal health and wellness philosophy she now brings to her spa. The Vermont native spent a year in Peru, a few years in the Yucatan and a few months in other far-off locales before settling in Breckenridge — all while studying just about every corner of the healing world: Thai massage, hot stone therapy, Reiki balancing, Prana healing, cranial-sacral therapy.
And Hall weaves her deep, worldly experience into one damn fine massage. But “damn fine” is hardly how she’d describe a 120-minute therapeutic session in the Ashiatsu tradition, more commonly known as a deep-tissue barefoot massage. No, she’d more likely call it nourishing, then admit with a laugh that verbiage like “nourish” and “balance” and “oxygenate” are built into her revamped branding strategy for Harmony Health’s new home on Main.
Before inviting clients to lie down on a second-floor table overlooking downtown, Hall covers all the physical basics — recent injuries, chronic pain, bodily quirks — then gets into more ephemeral concerns, such as tension at work, or the importance of breathing deeply during a massage. She can even recognize an orthopedic plate by simply looking at a scar.???
With the pre-session work out of the way, Hall digs into her Ashiatsu session. She’s practiced the method for more than a decade — it was her signature treatment when she opened shop in 2005 — and she’s adept at using her feet almost exactly like hands, rubbing sore quadriceps and lower-back muscles while balancing with the help of bars mounted to the ceiling. She explains how during a massage, pressure from a therapist’s bodyweight can relieve cellular tension deep inside muscles.
When paired with singing bowls, stunning views of Breckenridge and a playlist of hemi-sync music — a collection of classical and Oriental tunes meant to stimulate both hemispheres of the brain — Hall believes the results can far outweigh a run-of-the-mill spa experience.
“Even if we don’t think about it, the body is always healing,” Hall says. “Positive and negative input can affect the body’s ability to react to stimuli. Everything works together — we’re just so refined and organized at a systemic level, and then we have a soul and a brain and a heart to keep it moving. Again, here we want to stay in the positive space because that’s where healing happens.”
ROOM TO GROW
If all massages aren’t created equal, then neither are all massage parlors.
But again, a term like “massage parlor” isn’t quite in line with Hall’s vision for the new Harmony Health. Her old space on Ridge Street nearly fit the mold: It was small and cozy at 550 square feet, although she admits that one online reviewer said clients should plan ahead for groups — there was no room for more than two or three people, plus a therapist.
Still, even when wedged in a space no larger than a master bedroom, Harmony Health is one of the best-reviewed spas in Breckenridge. It boasts a five-star rating through Google reviews and 4.5-star ratings on Yelp and Yahoo.
Those reviews came before the recent expansion. It took nearly two years to find the perfect location, but when the Main Street space became available, Hall wasted no time converting it into a fitting home. Now, with nearly 1,800 square feet, she has room to breathe. The spa is now split between two levels, with a bright, warm reception area and two private massage rooms on the first floor. Two chairs with oxygen tanks sit at the base of a timber-lined staircase — oxygen treatments come separate or paired with massages — which lead to the sunlit second floor, home to a couples massage room, the main Ashiatsu room and a pedicure station.
While Hall is in a session, she likes to remain quiet and reflexive — yet another tactic to help her clients get the most from their massages. But between clients, the Vermont native is talkative and energetic, laughing with employees about random topics like wine and uphill skinning.
“I’m a ‘grow’ person — give me the fertilizer and I’ll grow, grow, grow,” Hall says, then adds with a smile: “And honestly, the singing bowls sound better in a bigger room.”
With the expansion came space for new services like manicures, pedicures, botanical facials, waxing and, once the time is right, consultations with a local naturopathic doctor. Sure, the remodel took a bite out of her skiing and skinning time this winter, but it was needed. Growth has always been built right into her philosophy for life and, in turn, Harmony Health.
“It’s who we are, it’s what we know the community needs,” Hall says of the expanded services, now split among a staff of five therapists, doctors and aestheticians. “We’re constantly changing and evolving and growing — moving into this space was really just the beginning.”
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