Wellness-focused resort is in the future
By Sandra Strieby
Naturopathic doctor Sierra Breitbeil founded the Methow Valley Wellness Center in 1997. She’s offered primary care and a variety of personalized health treatments there ever since, as well as providing space for other wellness practitioners.
Breitbeil and her husband, Michael Strauss, are now in the process of creating a wellness-focused resort that will include accommodations adjacent to the wellness center and a variety of healing and self-care services in the existing building.
As a first step, Breitbeil has created Sunflower Massage & Spa, bringing together 10 individuals who offer a diverse array of services, all with the intention of supporting physical and spiritual health.
The wellness center is an apt setting for the many modalities being practiced under its roof. Designed to support healing and well-being, the environmentally–sound building is anchored by an airy, spacious room used for classes, workshops, and gatherings, with two walls of windows, French doors opening to an outdoor deck, and an array of plants enlivening one corner.
Individual sessions are held in private treatment rooms where natural light is filtered through one-way blinds. Throughout the building, creative design details and hand-plastered walls tinted a soft yellow create a warm, welcoming ambiance.
Breitbeil sees Sunflower Massage & Spa as a cooperative endeavor, with individual practitioners collaborating to create an integrated experience of personal well-being for clients and patients. Some of the people who are practicing in the wellness center have been there for years; others are newcomers. All of them, said Breitbeil, have “this quality … that I really love,” a desire to support clients at any stage of the journey to wholeness. Their offerings include:
• Counseling. Sue Peterson provides mental health counseling, specializing in working with adults healing from trauma, childhood abuse, anxiety, depression, and grief and loss using an evidence-based form of therapy called Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART). Learn more at suepetersonms.com.
• Esthetician. Angella Konot offers facial treatments, brow and lash tinting, waxing, and microblading, focusing on giving clients the results they’re seeking in a tranquil atmosphere. Services for special events are also available upon request. Book online at https://sunflowermassagetherapy.com.
• Energy healing. Tania Gonzalez-Ortega uses energy healing techniques that include Reiki, chakra balancing and crystal healing. She is also a Family Constellations practitioner who will form groups of individuals committed to advancing one another’s inner healing. Contact Gonzalez-Ortega at email@example.com.
• Massage therapy. Leslie Bower and Sierra Breitbeil both focus on therapeutic massage. Bower has trained in Amma, Shiatsu and Tui Na styles of bodywork and is also an acupuncturist. She has “a particular passion for helping patients with pain management” and enjoys helping them to “make positive changes in their overall health and well-being.” Contact her via her web site, www.centralpointacupuncture.com. Breitbeil specializes in “deep tissue bodywork (particularly the shoulder girdle and neck, upper back, and hips)” accompanied by “great instrumental music, all with a touch of spiritual integration.” Book online at https://sunflowermassagetherapy.com.
• Mindfulness. Sharon Cohen teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, offers individual mindfulness classes and guidance, and leads regular mindfulness meditation practice sessions online and in person. Learn more at www.mindfulmethow.com.
• Reiki. Anne Young practices Reiki — a hands-on complementary health technique — saying “I use the guidance of Holy Fire Karuna Reiki energy to embark on a tailored healing for each client.” Book online at https://sunflowermassagetherapy.com. Young is also a portrait photographer, offering head shots and family photos.
• Tattoo. Chuck Kapise has brought his Heart of the Valley Tattoo to Winthrop. He works with clients to create the body art they want, and focuses on establishing a positive environment in a safe and comfortable space. Contact Kapise at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Yoga. instructors Shannon Eyre and Shaina Rogers offer classes three days a week. Eyre describes her classes as “strong and creative … capped off with nice stretching and relaxing time” and says she likes to “offer the ancient wisdom of yoga but also make the practice accessible and fun.” Contact Eyre at email@example.com. Rogers teaches prenatal yoga, offering a beginner-friendly eight-week series that combines Vinyasa and Yin yoga to support women throughout pregnancy, during labor, and after birth. The classes encourage students to connect with mind, body, breath, and each other. Email Rogers at MVPrenatalYoga@gmail.com to sign up.
In addition, says Breitbeil, “After all these years doing primary care, I am still doing primary care!” She’ll also continue to provide ongoing care for patients’ individual health concerns, and specialty services such as hormone replacement and fertility support.
Breitbeil expects Sunflower Resort to open around Christmas. It will comprise seven two-bedroom nightly-rental cabins as well as the Methow Valley Wellness Center and Sunflower Massage & Spa — all within walking distance of the Winthrop Rink, Methow Trails office, and downtown Winthrop.
Breitbeil hopes the resort will attract wellness seekers who will stay long enough to take full advantage of the array of services offered by practitioners whom she describes as “really nurturing, really bright individuals” to work through “various phases [of] healing.” Along with practicing massage therapy and naturopathic medicine, Breitbeil will coordinate the care of people staying at the resort for extended healing experiences.
The Methow Valley Wellness Center is located at 105 Norfolk Road in Winthrop, near Little Star School and the new public library. Visit the Sunflower Massage & Spa website at https://sunflowermassagetherapy.com or call (509) 996-3971 for more information.