Wellness is more than a luxury

New Amherst wellness spa offering help and education

STEPHEN ROBERTS stephen.roberts@saltwire.com



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Everyone has their calling and for Joy Johanneson-Sully, her life’s work is in esthetics. She has been working in the field for 25 years and is the owner of Body Oasis, a new Amherst wellness spa that opened in December. “It is a passion of mine to help people to empower their mind, the body and the soul,” she tells Cumberland Wire. According to Johanneson-Sully, there are day spa, medical and holistic estheticians. As a holistic esthetician, she focuses on the whole being, aiding the body’s natural ability to empower and heal itself in a state of deep relaxation. She works to prevent conditions caused by repetitive stress before they become a more acute concern. All estheticians are trained to notice signs and symptoms of disease or disorder via the nails and skin. Although they cannot diagnose or give prognosis, they might find things that otherwise go unseen and can recommend medical attention. In this way, she says, they provide preventative care. Services offered at Body Oasis include body treatments such as pedicures, manicures, facials and body wraps. She also offers energy work with Reiki and Indian Head Massage and utilizes technologies with infrared sauna, infrared blanket, LED therapy and sound therapy. These are just some of the therapies offered. Services can be combined into packages of up to three. The Body Oasis is located at a Victorian era manor house at Rupert Street. The home is the perfect setting for this type of business. It’s imperative for Johanneson-Sully that patients feel they are entering a safe space. When you walk into the building, she believes you can immediately feel the warmth. “A lot of buildings have a very corporate feeling and they can feel cold and although we do have a professionalism, I have a very quiet, warm environment and when you are working with destressing the body, having a warm environment like that is crucial,” she explains. EDUCATING PEOPLE Johanneson-Sully also wants to provide patients the tools so they can take continue taking care of themselves. She started working in esthetics because she loves taking care of people and helping them feel better in their own skin. However, early on, she noticed the industry practically relied on people not knowing how to destress. “I didn’t like that I was finding I could work on somebody for eight hours and run into them the next day and they had the same vibe and the same feel,” recalls Johanneson-Sully. She took additional education to enhance her work and provide tips and tricks clients can use at home to elongate the benefits. Currently, she offers free consultations which includes recommendations for tips and tricks to use at home. ABOUT THE OWNER Johanneson-Sully is Rocky Mountain, Alta. born. She completed her formal training in esthetics and went professional in 2000. She acquired multiple diplomas and certificates in various wellness styles and in energy work, such as Reiki and Indian Head Massage. She operated a wellness centre in Alberta before moving to Amherst for family reasons in 2020. Her oldest son attends Mount Allison University, another child is in Tantramar, her brother already lives here and her mother, Chris, who co-owns Body Oasis, also moved to Amherst. “We moved here for family and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” says Johanneson-Sully. THE PHOENIX CHAPTER Along with the Body Oasis, Johanneson-Sully also operates a non-profit called the Phoenix Chapter that helps ensure wellness services are accessible for everybody, regardless of their financial situation. It connects people who need wellness with other people who are providing discounts or payment plans. This is important to Johannesson-Sully, who believes everybody has a right to feel well. “Over 25 years, I have really discovered wellness was seen as frivolous but, in truth, wellness is a right. You have a right to feel well, and it’s not a luxury, it’s a part of what helps you to have a quality of life.” The Phoenix Chapter has locations in Amherst, Sackville and multiple locations in Alberta as well as one international location in Ecuador. To learn more, visit phoenixchapter.ca MORE ABOUT BODY The Body Oasis is a green and socially conscious business. They try to keep their operation green while buying products from socially conscious companies. “What I love about that is not just that I can be proud of it, but whenever you have a service with us, or you purchase a product through us, you can be proud of it as well,” says Johanneson-Sully.