Health & Beauty

The Doctor Is In (the Spa)

Trend alert! Bella Fiore and Yuan Spa offer examples of holistic health programs inside what we think of as massage-and-manicure settings.

By Laura Cassidy and Amanda Zurita April 18, 2013

Here's how naturopathic physician Christine Schaffner put it to us: "Women enjoy getting a facial; they don't enjoy going to the doctor." Especially around here, we might add. Seattle's pretty dense with really decent spas, and what can we say? We'd rather a good salt scrub than a cold exam table any day. And lately, we've seen an uptick in spas that combine wellness and health with massage oils and waxing. While it's been common for some time now to encounter doctors and nurses giving injectables and performing, um, extractions in medical spas, this trend toward softer, gentler care within a bath-and-body environment feels fresh and new. And a lot more pleasant.

Schaffner is on staff at Bella Fiore Organic Med Spa, where already established Vitamin B happy hours (and other such options) offer a really awesome alternative to $2 drafts. At the end of the month, the Queen Anne spa will open an adjacent clinic with even more low-impact but goal-oriented procedures for toxins-out, juiced-up wellness and recuperation. Colon hydrotherapy, anyone?

The upcoming opening is right in line with a larger trend toward wellness as a partner—a twin?—to beauty. We like our healthcare to be sustainable, natural, and holistic in the Northwest, and who are we to mind if the guy down the hall is getting laser hair removal? Or a massage

Or a facial—although at Bella Fiore you'd likely opt for talking to Schaffner for that. She says our internal organs tend to show up in our skin, and she's especially passionate about working with women on what might be called an inside-out facial. It's our term, not hers, but it's a good way to sum up the idea that what we eat and how we're functioning shows up in our eyes and epidermis. 

Image via Yuan Spa

Across the water Bellevue's Yuan Spa recently launched an all-inclusive wellness experience: a six-week series that includes traditional Eastern healing services like acupuncture and cupping sessions alongside the usual facials, massages, and body scrubs. And for the full East-meets-West approach, Yuan brought in life coach Sam Louie and nutritionist Lida Buckley—both of whom are available for advice on anything from dealing with work stress to limiting temptations at the grocery store. The program even goes so far as to include yoga classes and spin sessions at next-door Flywheel.

Owner Zhiqin Zhang immigrated to the U.S. from China in 1999 and opened Yuan two years ago as a spa destination modeled on the holistic health facilities of her home country. With the launch of the wellness program Zhang hopes to extend the spa experience, making Yuan the go-to for whole-body care. "We want to make taking care of yourself—your whole self—a routine and to create better wellness habits for our clients," she told us.

Yuan's wellness program includes two services per week plus unlimited access to the hydrotherapy circuit and weekly sessions with Louie and Buckley. A six-week individual package is $2,325 ($2,200 for spa members). Yuan also offers a 4-week couples series starting at $1,900. All services are also available à la carte.

Stay tuned for more on Bella Fiore's opening specials and events, and in the meantime, let us know what you think about the possibility of consulting with your ND in the steam room.

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