Nell Rueckl, the founder of Spot Spa, sits down to talk about the power of bodywork and massage, and shares a glimpse into her new bath house concept launching in Summer of 2021 called Watershed.
We discuss a few types of massage and bodywork, including Lomi Lomi Hawaiian massage, which Nell describes as “the black diamond” of bodywork. With over 20 years of experience in bodywork, Nell shares her perspective on how spas have evolved over the years, and what she wants to see in these spaces in the future.
A true pioneer and leader in the Twin Cities healing community, Nell is the founder of Spot Spas, creator of Nell’s Remedies, and the visionary behind Watershed.
She forged her experience at Horst’s Aveda Destination Spa and Kabuki Springs and has been recognized for achieving the highest level of mastery within the Minnesota spa industry.
The Well Connected Twin Cities Podcast is sharing the fascinating stories from within the wellness community for health enthusiasts across the metro. Alex Stalberger + Lilly Zaborowski explore the inspirations, insights, and discoveries that make up holistic healing. Discover what’s possible.
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Lilly: [00:00:00] So I am here today with Nell Rueckl, the owner of Spot Spa, which has been around for 20 years in the Twin Cities has two locations and the owner of this upcoming concept called Watershed, which we are so excited to talk about today. So welcome to the show, Nell.
[00:00:19] Nell: [00:00:19] Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the invite. I, I just, I love talking to people who are go getters and I just love your platform and I appreciate all the people you’re bringing to the forefront. So. Thank you.
[00:00:31] Lilly: [00:00:31] Yeah. Thank you. Happy to have you here. I’ve been a fan of Spot for so long, so this is kind of a fun little fan girl moment for me too.
[00:00:39] I just love the beauty, the spa treatments… so let’s start at the beginning because I always. I just love hearing about how people get started and what they do and what leads them down a path. So you started Spot Spa back in 2001, and I would just love to hear from you about what drew you into this work and a little bit about what those early days of the business were like.
[00:01:06] Nell: [00:01:06] Well, it’s so interesting because with this pandemic, It feels a lot like the early days.
[00:01:15]Lilly: [00:01:15] Does it?
[00:01:17] Nell: [00:01:17] Yes. It’s bringing me, you know, we’ve had kind of three growth spurts in the 20 years. Right. So we opened below The Bulldog and then we opened our second, you know, back then it was a bar called boom. And don’t ask me why I thought it was a good idea to open a
[00:01:34] massage place underneath a bar that plays loud music, but I don’t know. It’s just maybe my. I, you know, being in the basement was really great for us, but anyway, and it was a beautiful space. So, and I wanted to open a spa for people to feel comfortable in where they didn’t feel like they had to go to a day spa.
[00:01:57] And I wanted them to really feel healed and like they were coming to my home. Uh, I had already worked extensively full-time for a handful of probably six years and was the wellness director at the Aveda destination spa in Osceola, Wisconsin. So with that experience, and then coming back and working at Horst salons in St.
[00:02:21] Paul, and then working out of my apartment, I felt like, okay, let’s just do your craft and do what we know we do really well. So when we started Spot, the focus was really to think about the treatment base, not like you’re going to come and get this spa experience and then turn into a new person.
[00:02:41] We’re going to send you out back in the 90. Well, let’s see or 2001. So spas, then were very much. About like beauty transformation, almost facials first and massage the second. When you thought about a spa in 2001, it was like, get your hair done, get a facial, get a pedicure, and then maybe you’ll get a massage.
[00:03:02] Um, yeah. And now in my opinion, it’s almost 50/50 massage and facial, pedicure, you know, so it’s much more balanced now. Um, but as far as like how it feels to operate the business and let people know that it’s safe to come in, because back when I first started again, there were a lot less people that knew about bodywork and what it was like.
[00:03:23] And how was it good for you? Is it just. For luxury, is it for healing, all of those things. And so now creating a safe environment. So people feel like they can come in and get healed. And then it’s a safe zone is kind of happening again with the pandemic. Yeah.
[00:03:37] Lilly: [00:03:37] Yeah. What does that, how has that definition of a safe zone changed over the years?
[00:03:42] Because obviously the pandemic adds a new layer of safety in terms of disease transmission. But what about at the beginning? Was it more of like making people feel comfortable and not intimidated or
[00:03:55] Nell: [00:03:55] yeah. Yeah. I mean, it was all about demystifying the witchiness. So it’s like. I remember so many times when I first started practicing on my own, because people ask you more questions when you’re on your own.
[00:04:09] Then when you’re in a spa definite difference. Um, when I was on my own, people would always say, you know, can you, can you tell how I’m feeling basically? For lack of a better term. Can you read my mind? And I remember very specifically knowing, obviously I have intuition, I’ve got these things. I can do this, but I wanted people to feel safe.
[00:04:30] And since they did not know what, maybe they had never had a massage before. Sure. Yeah. So the idea was that I’m here to work on this, knot in your shoulder, and don’t worry about me reading your mind. So I literally used to have a term where I would say to people. I’m not here to read your mind. If you want to go pay someone else to do that, you haven’t paid me to do that.
[00:04:55] So I’m here to work on your body, you know? So a lot of it was like, everybody thought that if you were a bodyworker that also meant you were, like, witchy
[00:05:04] Lilly: [00:05:04] Because of like the Reiki piece or, or just with massage.
[00:05:08] Nell: [00:05:08] No with, I mean, people didn’t even know about Reiki.
[00:05:11] Lilly: [00:05:11] Yeah. Okay.
[00:05:12] I never realized that massage seemed witchy earlier.
[00:05:15]Nell: [00:05:15] Well, yeah, because it was like, All, you know, if, if you think about it, I’ve been doing bodywork since 1991. Sowhen people were starting they’re thinking it’s, this is the ultimate vulnerability.
[00:05:30] Lilly: [00:05:30] Sure. I get that.
[00:05:32] Yeah, for sure.
[00:05:34] Nell: [00:05:34] And so if you’re going to choose to be a bodyworker, you must be woo-woo.
[00:05:40] Um, I mean, obviously you’re going to kind of marry some of that energy piece because we’re all energetic beings, but recognizing and choosing a boundary over how. I personally wanted to have, my practice was I’m here to help you. And let’s not, let’s have a boundary here.
[00:05:58] Lilly: [00:05:58] Yeah, that makes sense.
[00:05:58] Nell: [00:05:58] So, and, and what happened was I built trust with people.
[00:06:03] They got their bodies shifted. I’d let them know how it was going to shift. I was able to kind of show them the way and I often was known as the best person to go see if you were a first timer. Oh, because I was really good at easing people in like trying to understand, I know you’re nervous about X, Y, and Z.
[00:06:21] This is what I’m, this is what I’m doing today. This is what we’re going to focus on.
[00:06:26] Lilly: [00:06:26] I can imagine if someone’s nervous and they’re holding that tension in their body, it’s probably even harder to really help release tension and get into some of that body work and healing.
[00:06:37] Nell: [00:06:37] It makes my job. It’s the least fun part of my job.
[00:06:41] Right. So that’s why I feel like the introduction and the how to is so key. Yeah. Especially if it’s a first-time person, you know, back when I, when I worked at Aveda at the destination spa in Wisconsin, we used to get people all the time that had, sometimes I would have three first-timers in a day.So I got really good at like, here’s what we’re going to do.
[00:07:03] This is how it’s going to go. These are, this is each step we manage these expectations. So then you can feel safe. Yeah. So, and it’s key. I mean, everybody knows that’s key, right? Managing expectations, letting you know where, um, what’s going to happen next.
[00:07:20] Lilly: [00:07:20] It’s actually a big part of what we’re trying to do with Well Connected Twin Cities to have like all of these different,modalities that people aren’t familiar with and might be.
[00:07:30] You know, thinking about trying for the first time, we’re really trying to help people understand, like what’s involved. What does it feel like when you get your first acupuncture appointment or what’s going to happen and, and yeah. Demystifying some of that to help people feel confident to take that step, you know?
[00:07:48] Nell: [00:07:48] Yeah. And if you don’t mind, I will. I appreciate that so much. And I also, because as a person, a practitioner who has a love for their craft, sometimes you’re so close to it. It’s hard. It’s hard to tell totally what they’re going to experience because you’re, you, you know, it’s in you, you, you do it all the time.
[00:08:09] You’re around a bunch of people that are used to it. And you forget to ask those questions sometimes. What do you know what don’t, you know, and then a lot of times, I mean, let’s be honest, we’re in the Midwest people don’t love to admit that they have more questions. Totally. Yes, definitely. You know, so that’s also another level of vulnerability.
[00:08:32] Um, for me, empowering the body on the table is paramount to healing. Mm. Love that. So, Yeah. So what you’re doing is helping. Thank you.
[00:08:45] Lilly: [00:08:45] Yeah, of course.
[00:08:46] So you started with massage therapy and facials at the beginning, or like, how did your services evolve over the last 20 years?
[00:08:54] Nell: [00:08:54] We were teeny tiny to start, so it was myself and one other person, and then she actually ended up going in another direction.
[00:09:00]It was such a slow start. It was like a tiny trickle, uh, and because. I’m pretty well connected. I was lucky enough, you know, we were tiling our bathroom, right when nine 11 happened. So a lot of my clients that were coming to my apartment at the time that knew I was going to be opening this place.
[00:09:21] We’re essentially agency people, people that had that income that they felt like, you know, and knew, traveled around, knew about massage. You know what I mean? The, the people that were diehards. So I was lucky enough to get the word out that we were looking for more people and we grew that way. Um, so it ended up being three, four, five.
[00:09:45] I don’t think we ever had in the Northeast location, more than seven practitioners nurse at once working there. And we were in that location for 13 years, but we did become 13 practitioners with the uptown location as well because the uptown location was upstairs and we had three rooms and also very small.
[00:10:06] So, um, some of those people rotated between locations. Got it.
[00:10:11] Lilly: [00:10:11] I love the feeling of the well, I’ve been to both locations, but I love the feeling of the upstairs and uptown with the little rooms and like the little kind of older sinks and stuff. Like, it just has so much character.
[00:10:23] Nell: [00:10:23] I know the details of that location.
[00:10:25] I mean, that was a definite both. Both the basement location and the upstairs were a labor of love. Every single square inch was touched by myself or a loved one. And you could really sense it. I felt like, yeah. Yeah. It’s really, you know, that’s actually the fun part about, I mean, because I do Lomi Lomi I really do believe that when you work a space.
[00:10:47] Part of my Lomi Lomi training and I might be going off track here. But part of my Lomi Lomi training was, is to create the space in which you’re going to do the practice. Right? So sweep the floors, manage the space dust. Like they call that lomiing the space before somebody even enters. Wow. So when we did the build out, I would always think while we’re here kind of actually doing a treatment to the space.
[00:11:10] Lilly: [00:11:10] Yeah. Yes.
[00:11:11] Um, that let’s talk about Lomi Lomi so that is a specific style of massage. Do you want to tell us about what it is?
[00:11:19] Nell: [00:11:19] Yes. It’s. Um, one of those massages that’s very hard to demystify. so it’s based on a dance step called the flight.It’s very basic it’s a lot of forearm work. It’s a meditative practice. It is repetitious and you are meant to flow over the body. Multiple times and then listen to what the body has to say to you. Interesting. Yeah. So you, you know, if once you’re going over the body, you’re moving, you’re moving, you’re moving.
[00:11:52] And then all of a sudden you find something like in the shoulder and it, I will say it’s very hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it as a practitioner, but it is almost like the body just shows you. Oh, I’ve been carrying this around. Oh, I was hiding it for a little while, but now you can, like, what’s been amazing to me for Lomi is all feel a body.
[00:12:13] And I can usually shake stuff out and notice where things are right away, because I’m so adept at doing bodywork. But when you do Lomi, the body shows itself one way and then you start to work. It. And it’s almost like it can’t hide. What’s underneath that second layer, you know, you can use the peeling back the onion piece, but I like to think of it as like when a wave turns up of shell.
[00:12:36] Mm. Yeah. So, um, And then with Lomi, the idea is through that repetition, you find little nuggets and then you work on that nugget for awhile, and then you release that and then you go to another one and then the body, like you’ll initially feel, Oh, the right side of the body is really tight. I’ll work here for a while.
[00:12:53] And then all of a sudden the left side will pop up. Wow. So, um, but as a, as a client on the table, I call it the double diamond Hill for massage. It is out there. We do breath work. I do breath work during it. So I’m constantly breathing and making sounds throughout the treatment. I’m moving about the table.
[00:13:15] The draping technique is a little different. We keep your privates covered the whole time, but your whole body, I work from your shoulder to your feet and your shoulder back again. So it is. Extremely. There’s just a lot of movement. A lot of, um, we keep you awake while you’re face down. The idea is to not go to sleep, but then when we turn you over, when you turn over, when we have you kind of transitioned into to a more quiet, calm, it’s like we’re preparing you now to kind of go forward.
[00:13:47] Interesting. The idea with Lomi Lomi is that we’re dealing with the past. So when you’re working on the back, you it’s everything you’ve kind of packed on and carried with you. Okay
[00:13:55] on the back. So on the front, you’re kind of prepping for this
[00:13:58] exactly. The front is how you’re presenting. Yeah. I mean, if you think about it, we all keep everything back here in our traps.
[00:14:06]Lilly: [00:14:06] Where did you learn how to provide this type of massage? Lomi Lomi where did you, where were you trained?
[00:14:14] Nell: [00:14:14] I was trained in Hawaii. Okay. So I first learned of it from, I I’m also trained to teach qigong and have spent many years practicing qigong as well.
[00:14:26] I don’t teach it, but I’m trained to teach it. And in that qigong class, I met Laurie McNally, who does Lomi Lomi I’m not sure where she is now. I feel like she’s in Wisconsin somewhere and I did a weekend course with her, and then I immediately knew that was it. So,
[00:14:44] Lilly: [00:14:44] So it comes from Hawaii. Is it like a long standing style? Is that like, where are the
[00:14:50] roots of it?
[00:14:52] Nell: [00:14:52] The tricky part about Lomi Lomi is there are different kahunas who bring Lomi Lomi to different practitioners. So there’s almost like a group, like there’s this kahuna Abraham, this kahuna, maybe there’s a, there’s a person in Hawaii. Um, so, uh, Lomi, Lomi in Hawaii.
[00:15:15] The actual translation in the language means to massage. So anything in Hawaiian that is like a two words is the that’s the verb. Right? So Lomi Lomi means to massage. Lomi Lomi Hawaiian temple bodywork. Is essentially what I do. Okay. But here in the mainland, people recognize Lomi Lomi as pretty much what I do.
[00:15:39] Um, I did go to Kawaii twice to do my trainings and you stay with a group and you practice every day and every day, sun up to sundown. you’re not actually practicing the actual massage, but you’re talking about what it means and what it means to the body and it is a whole practice that stems from Huna, which is like Hawaiian, spiritual practice.
[00:16:09] So it’s very spiritual, but in my opinion, it’s also very freeing because it’s just all about like a heart center and earth, heart, and earth, and you can’t really go wrong when you go through the soul. ’cause it, it you’re out of your ego mind. And that’s one of my favorite things about Lomi is, you know, I can do a traditional massage and I can know exactly what’s going on with your hip.
[00:16:30] But if I do the actual Lomi, Lomi, I’m no longer working with my ego or my high mind, I’m working with the energy of the situation. And so it’s like, there’s more of an earth and a heart center that guides you. Mm.
[00:16:44] Lilly: [00:16:44] It sounds so powerful.
[00:16:46] Nell: [00:16:46] It’s super powerful.
[00:16:48] Lilly: [00:16:48] Probably not the type of massage you get, like every week or every month.
[00:16:54] Yeah. When would you get a massage like this? It feels like, yeah, the black diamond course.
[00:17:00] Nell: [00:17:00] Birthdays, breakups. grief, transition. You know, anytime you want to step into a new. You know, you want to just feel so loved up and so connected, but if you’re doing it weekly, you’re going to get, you know, there’s just other needs that your body’s going to have.
[00:17:25] Sure. Yeah. That makes sense. Yeah. It’s a wonderful massage. Yeah. I mean, I’m really hoping on
[00:17:33] it for my next
[00:17:33] birthday. Now that we’re talking about that I’m really hoping to be able to teach more people. Yeah. At some point, if I can carve out some time to get my team, I would love to get more, a few more people.
[00:17:45] I mean, Lomi is not for everybody, but
[00:17:47] Lilly: [00:17:47] yeah. Are you the only one at Spot who
[00:17:51] Nell: [00:17:51] offers
[00:17:52] Lilly: [00:17:52] it?
[00:17:52] Nell: [00:17:52] There is one other practitioner that’s been trained at, um, through a training at center point and I, I don’t know the woman, I’m sorry. I don’t know the woman’s name that does that training, but it seems like she’s doing a pretty solid Hawaiian training. I’m always curious because you’re not on the land. You’re not getting the whole embodiment of the training, so, yeah. Wow.
[00:18:15] Lilly: [00:18:15] Well cool. Um, so we just zoomed into Lomi Lomi but I’d love to hear more about, are there other types of massage therapy that you think people should know about or, um, let’s think about people that are brand new to massage and bodywork.
[00:18:33] What is a type that they should start with or, um, how should they get started?
[00:18:42]Nell: [00:18:42] So a traditional massage, in my opinion, or a Western style massage or a shiatsu massage, if you’re somebody who wants to remain clothed, Um, shiatsu is great because you can keep your, you know, you remain clothed and then they work on the body and the meridians and open up the body that way.
[00:18:58] And some people it’s their jam. Yeah. It’s I mean, they, they are completely transcended by that. For me. I like more enveloping. Hmm. You know, but there’s time and place. When I know I need those meridians opened up and I need the, you know, the chi flowing a little better. So the shiatsu really works. So I would pick either Eastern style shiatsu, or a traditional massage.
[00:19:26] Now, if you’re going through grief, if you’re going through chronic pain,if you’ve been in a car accident, these are all little bit more acute scenarios that we want to kind of look at and say, okay, this is going to be the best thing for you. Maybe you need some myofascial release. Maybe you need some craniosacral to help.
[00:19:52] You know, we, we all know there’s different types of cranial sacral up ledger. Is so studied and so proven to be effective for trauma in the tissue and in the fascial tissue. So if you can get, if you have trauma, I mean, we want to get you moving, right. Because that’s what causes. Depression disease, all of the things.
[00:20:15] And if you know anything about fascial tissue, it covers every single muscle, bone and organ in your body. So when there’s constriction in the fascial tissue, it’s just really key to try to get that move through. And it takes a marriage of like, okay, I’m going to go raise my heart rate and extra weight exercise a little bit.
[00:20:35] Then I’m going to go get some body work. I’m going to put some healthy food in my body. Hydrate.
[00:20:40] Lilly: [00:20:40] Well cause fascia, I mean, so many things can happen with it, right? Like the knots that we get that can be like dried out kind of yucky fascia. Right. And then there’s like the thinner parts where it’s, it’s moving more.
[00:20:56] I mean, it’s, if anyone, if anyone listening has not looked into fascia or studied fascia, it is very fascinating.
[00:21:03] Nell: [00:21:03] Oh. And you’re learning more and more all the time. I mean, this is right. I feel like. Okay. I haven’t been in massage school in bazillion years. I’ve taken all my other side classes, but some of these people, some of my practitioners that are just getting out of school have so much knowledge about fascia that I have not been trained in.
[00:21:20] The one thing I do know is it’s a neurological highway. Yes. And it acts like, so what I’d like to explain it, this is how I explain it to people. Have you ever put. A sock or a pair of nylons on where the foot was flipped the wrong way. And then you’re just so busy. You’re like, I’m just going to keep going because I don’t have time.
[00:21:42] But then you realize you can’t, you actually have to stop and fix it.
[00:21:47] Nell: [00:21:47] Yeah. Because it’s like constriction. That’s exactly what fascia does to your muscles and your organs. So when you have torsion in your fascia, like, let’s just say, it’s your bicept. We all know. Cause you can touch and feel your bicep.
[00:22:00] If you have that torsion. All of a sudden you’re, you’re not going to be able to bend your arm very well. It’s like almost kind of simple, but it’s also very complex obviously, because we’re dealing with it.
[00:22:12]Lilly: [00:22:12] you mentioned craniosacral too.I would love to get into that a little bit because I know it’s not something that everyone’s familiar with.
[00:22:20] So I’ve had craniosacral work done at Spot with Catherine. Um, it completely
[00:22:27] blew my mind.
[00:22:29] Nell: [00:22:29] Okay. I, I am embarrassed to say well, because okay. Part of what I do at spot is I, listen, I listen to how people, what the practitioners that people are liking, who they like to see. What there, you know, I listened to my clients and they say like, I went to see Catherine, we’ll just use Catherine.
[00:22:50] As an example, I went to see Catherine and, Oh my gosh, I feel so much better. And then I asked more questions. Yeah. What was bothering you? Was it your, you know, a sore shoulder or was it a sore heart or what, what was it? Sore mind? And Catherine has fixed a handful of my clients in, uh, in many different ways.
[00:23:11] Crazy. Releasing of pathogens, releasing of grief.Pain sleep cycle issues. I mean,
[00:23:23] Lilly: [00:23:23] I, yeah, so I can share too. I went to her for, um, like TIAA. I don’t really have TMJ, but like just like some stress in my jaw, clenching, and kind of like working into my neck and shoulders and. She, what I love is not only did I get a great treatment and walk out feeling so much better, but she gave me things I could do at home to keep myself feeling good.
[00:23:48] Right. So she gave me techniques. She’s like, you can heal yourself. Here’s what you do. And it was so
[00:23:56] like, Empowering. Yes. So
[00:23:59] empowering and made it feel so much more accessible. Like, Oh, I don’t have to constantly come back and maintain this. Like there’s things I can do. And then come back when I am running up against a wall again, or going through something new.
[00:24:14] Um, and then of course she brought in some just cool spiritual stuff into it, too, which I am. Here for exactly. I mean, telling me about like my guides talking to me, I was like, cool,
[00:24:28] Nell: [00:24:28] awesome. You know, she, so I got on her table. It’s been a stressful couple of years for, for me personally. And I got on her table two weeks ago for the first time.
[00:24:44] Cause I typically, you know, sometimes it just takes me awhile to get on my staff’s table. There’s a level of vulnerability that happens for me. So I get on the table and I’m laying there and I’m like, I know all my clients told me to come and see her, but now everybody needs to come and see her. Do you know what I mean?
[00:25:03] Like, I felt this great. Like how, how do I get through it? Yeah, how do I get the word out? Because it was so validating because for me, empowerment on the body and understanding when she touches a part of your body and says, this is coming up for me. Does this resonate for you? You’re working together.
[00:25:20] She’s, she’s not telling you like a guru she’s working with your body and your body is telling her the story. And to me, that’s where the authenticity and the truth of massage wellness, any kind of healing practice. That’s that’s my boundary. If, if I have a practitioner that I feel like is telling people how it is, I’m not thrilled about that because it all that does is undermine your power over your internal, knowing about your body.
[00:25:51] Yeah. So for me, one of our core values at spot is empowerment. So she is completely in line, which I already, I mean, I had already known that piece, but getting on the table and feeling, being able to feel vulnerable, but yet empowered is pretty huge.
[00:26:06] Lilly: [00:26:06] That is, yeah. That’s a perfect way to describe
[00:26:09] Nell: [00:26:09] it. Yeah.
[00:26:09] Yes, yes. And, and you feel, I mean, obviously, and I really truly believe that being witnessed is sometimes I don’t know how, what percentage of healing that is, but I imagine it’s pretty large. Yeah.
[00:26:22] Lilly: [00:26:22] Totally. Yes. Yeah. Um, so we just got right into, into it, but I feel like we didn’t define craniosacral therapy.
[00:26:32] So I think what’s important for people to know is like, you don’t need to get naked for it. You can be fully clothed.
[00:26:38] Very gentle. It’s not like, you know, in massage, some can be gentle. Some can be like, More serious, but , it felt very gentle to me with craniosacral
[00:26:47] do you want to say anything else about craniosacral in general?
[00:26:50]Nell: [00:26:50] I mean, anybody who is having any kind of chronic anything and wants to break through really chronic, anything cycle, thoughts, depression, physical body myofascial,Hashimoto’s but any autoimmune issues, cranial sacral will help with that too. Nice. You know, because a lot of our internal illnesses are in my opinion, a dance with the mind and the body. And so we, if we can get the mind out of the way, then the body can start totake over and do what it naturally knows how to do it because the body really is the magic we’re working with. Yeah. So yes. And I think, um, craniosacral does have a little movement and it’ll recognize any restrictions, but easily doable. Like if you had never had a massage before craniosacral, isn’t a massage, but it is a, it is a healing treatment. Yeah.
[00:27:46] Lilly: [00:27:46] Yeah. It feels even like less intimidating. When we think about newcomers to massage, if they’re nervous about like getting naked, for example, um, or like too much touching, I don’t know. I feel like cranial sacral is a nice. Intro or easy one to start
[00:28:03] Nell: [00:28:03] with because there’s a little bit, and all of a sudden you learn that there’s so much more that’s happening in your body.
[00:28:08] Yeah. And to me, that’s, I get so excited when people get to understand that it’s an actual conversation with your body. If you can check in and say, okay, this is happening. I have, you know, I have a witness. And actually what they’re saying to me, resonates with my gut instinct and you get to kind of learn together.
[00:28:29] I want to talk about one other treatment that I think is really fun and new.
[00:28:32] And I know, um, I know there’s some other people in town doing it, but Erica got trained in the vibrational sound healing and. For new year, just a quick shout out on that. Like if you wanted to get a massage and couple that with the bowls that it’s such a crazy, have you ever had
[00:28:49] vibrational sound healing?
[00:28:51] Lilly: [00:28:51] I have not had it like one-on-one, but I’ve attended a sound bath where I’m in a room with the crystal bowls
[00:28:57] Nell: [00:28:57] It’s different than a sound bath.
[00:28:58] Okay. Because they put again, another thing, I didn’t understand what the cranium, like, it was almost another aha moment where I’m in a room and I’m thinking I’m, she’s just going to like, do these bowls around me, but they put them on you.
[00:29:11] Yeah. And what’s crazy is you can’t hear them in the other room. They go into your body. Whoa, Whoa. So it’s like, you know, this bowl is sitting like, let’s say on my soul chakra and they’re they’re, gonging it. But you only, you basically can hear it. I mean, the, the practitioner can feel the vibration of it too, but it’s not loud, but it feels, it seems loud to you.
[00:29:38] So if you, if you believe that sound can move things for you, this is a great treatment.
[00:29:46] Lilly: [00:29:46] That’s really cool. So who does that at Spot?
[00:29:48] Nell: [00:29:48] Erica does that at Spot. Yeah. Great. So that’s just another really fun I would, when we go, we’re going to talk about Watershed in just a second, but my hope is that we will bring a training and most.
[00:30:00] Of the practitioners at Watershed will be trained in the vibrational sound because you could have that at the end of every massage. Yeah. And, you know, just think about how that could move you through.
[00:30:09] Lilly: [00:30:09] Yeah. I mean, I’ve been in a room for a sound bath and felt the effects of that. So I can only imagine if it were on me and more intensified how that would feel.
[00:30:20] Nell: [00:30:20] So yeah, a room. I don’t know if you’ve ever done that. I have where you like go into the corners and try to create sound.
[00:30:28] Lilly: [00:30:28] I have not done that.
[00:30:29] Nell: [00:30:29] Yeah. It’s good. I mean, it’s good for space it’s basically right. Yeah. So if you think of your body as a space, then you’re just sort of shaking it out. All right.
[00:30:41] Lilly: [00:30:41] Let’s talk about Watershed. So you are launching this very exciting new concept. Is it still on track for this spring? Is that the plan?
[00:30:50] Nell: [00:30:50] I have a feeling. It will be June. Nice. Okay. I guess technically June 21st is the first day of summer. So, um, we’re gonna, we’re still shooting for that is, um, I really need COVID to calm down.
[00:31:04] Yeah. Yeah, we
[00:31:05] do. We all do
[00:31:08] so the quick rundown on what we’re going to do at watershed is one we’re going to do all the amazing treatments we’re currently doing.
[00:31:14] So that’s massage. Skincare. So, and we our skincare will be more ritual and nurturing based because you do have still the steam sauna, cold plunge and water environment. So the skin is already, if let’s say you’re coming to Watershed, you’re going to be able to access the lower level, which will have a salt pool.
[00:31:40] A cold plunge, a steam room, a finished style sauna, and a relaxation area. So if you do that, let’s say you spend an hour and a half doing that, and then you go get a massage and a facial. We’re going to want to restore that. Skin’s already going to be ready. Sure. Yeah. So we’re going to focus on really gentle holistic treatments, which spot already does.
[00:32:06] All of our products are safe for the skin. So we know that, um, Let’s hear what other treatments we are going to lean into more healing. I think it’s time that we embody more spas, embody a deeper level of healing. So not just your basic massage and shiatsu, and facial. So we want to really, that’s why we want to bring the sound baths toward treatment rooms, have that more available, uh, on the first floor we will also have, so the first floor we’ll have all the treatments and it will also have an infrared sauna.
[00:32:40] Zone where you can have your own private infrared sauna pre COVID. We were going to do it in again, but now we’re just going to have little, your own little Zen zone, which will be really cool. And that will be really nice. We are also adding a salt element to that that you’ll get to experience. Yeah. So I’m really connected to salt.
[00:33:01] I don’t know if you’ve figured that out with Nell’s Remedies or anything like that, but I believe that salt is an energetic deodorizer. So if you think about it, like if you’re carrying negative energy, if you just have a bowl of salt around, it’s going to help you. Have a mood shift or at least it will be a dumping ground for that negative energy.
[00:33:23] So when we have salt around in the space, it is also antibacterial and microbial. So the more salt we have in that space, the cleaner the air will be. I was already planning on doing this pre COVID, but now we just get to lean into it even more and own it, which is great. Yeah. Love it. So I feel like, because I’ve been thinking of this dream for so long, I never know for sure if I’m really describing it well, like where you understand what we’re trying to do.
[00:33:54] So I will say one more thing. If you’ve ever been out of town and you’ve ever been to a communal bath, that is what we’re doing. So it’s basically like one large room where people communally steam, soak, sauna, and cold plunge. So it’s not a private treatment. It’s all done with, let’s say 15 to 20 people in that room.
[00:34:16] It’s a 6,500 square foot space. And then there’ll be a separate area where there’s healing treatments happening. So it’d be a really nice coupling. Uh, the energy in this treatment room is we’re focusing on, on a gemstone garden. We’ll have the, the relaxation zone we’ll have. A big salt garden. So you’re going to be able to clear, but then you’re also going to be able to kind of tune up your chakras a little bit with gemstones.
[00:34:43] So that’ll be really fun too. Yeah. Very cool.
[00:34:47]Lilly: [00:34:47] Tell us about like how you, because it sounds like you came up with this idea a few years ago and you’ve had, you’ve been thinking about this for a while and doing research and, um, tell us about like, other bath houses you’ve been to, bring in some of the history or inspiration behind this ritual and why you think it’s so important for the Twin Cities
[00:35:11] to have?
[00:35:12] Nell: [00:35:12] Yeah. It’s okay. So. It actually goes, Oh, I was thinking about this the other day because somebody asked me a similar question. Like, what’s the why behind this? What, you know, what’s the, what’s the drive? Well, being a healer when you get somebody. So back when I was working at the Aveda spa in Wisconsin, we had this amazing steam room.
[00:35:32] And that was my first foyer into understanding what, uh, a steam room and a cold people used to run out into the snow and then come back in and the bodies I would get on my table after steam were so much easier to work on than the bodies that would just come from the car. So I was trained. You know, in real life, what that meant and how, when I put my hands on a body, how that feels after they’ve already calmed down, we added a steam room at the spot spot location in Northeast, below the bulldog.
[00:36:10] So we had a steam room there for 13 years. Obviously a very, a great addition. Then when I started to kind of tour around the first, uh, bath house I was ever at was in Tacoma, Washington at Olympia. And that was such a healing experience too just knowing that you could go from one area to another, to another, you’re not rushing, you’re slowing down, you’re accepting everyone.
[00:36:38] And then being somebody who really understands the healing of witnessing others basically practice self care in a group environment. I really strongly believe is unquantifiable. The healing that happens is unquantifiable. You have acceptance, you have social acceptance of other beings. You are able to be at.
[00:37:04] At peace with others, which brings me to the reason I feel like now is so important. Our communities need us. When we heal ourselves, we can go out and heal our families. The people we see at the grocery store, when we feel full and we’ve taken care of ourselves, we can then create that vibration throughout.
[00:37:29] So being somebody who’s always been an entrepreneur and always been a healer. I love the group element. I can’t wait to get it open. I can’t wait to see what happens to people. I really can’t. I mean, I’ve been to other towns. I mean, I know other countries, I know how important it is to cultures all over the world.
[00:37:51] And that was the other thing is when we tried to decide you know, What to do. So I started, you know, I started researching all these different types of like sweat treatments, rather, you know, you can bury yourself and cedar, you can, which was easy, easily checked off the list. That’s okay. We don’t need to do that.
[00:38:10] I mean, great. People love it. It’s just not for me. So I thought, okay, this is great. But what, what I finally distilled to be the most important thing to offer is. The cold plunge and being able to get the body all the way into cold water and then heat the body. So whether that’s a hot tub, sauna, or steam room, you can kind of pick your own adventure, but making sure you cool off in between each one really helps boost the immune system.
[00:38:40] We already know there’s people that are dipping in Lake Harriet daily. It’s helping arthritis. It helps move things through. Um, some people call it the cure. Um, Wim Hoff has blown up. Right. Everybody. I don’t know if everybody knows about it, but people are talking about it all over. Yeah. And it’s great.
[00:39:00] The word is getting out like this is really basic ice and cooling the body is, I always call it like the easiest non-invasive surgery you can have for your body.
[00:39:11] Lilly: [00:39:11] I don’t know about easy for me. I, I
[00:39:14] get nervous, like,
[00:39:16] ah, I haven’t, I haven’t embraced the cold plunge trend yet. I’ve tried it a little bit just in the shower, but I just like to be hot.
[00:39:25] I like a good hot bath.
[00:39:27] Nell: [00:39:27] I’m with you about it not being fun in the shower, which is another reason why we decided, okay. We’re not because in some bathing spaces. They, in order to save space, they have the buckets or the showers that you pull and then they come down and yeah. Yeah. And it, to me, we want to get the lymph pumping, right. Like right. You want to get, I mean, you want it least get to here and if you can get your whole head under, but if you can get your lymph to here, it will help move the body. Also like a lava lamp. Like, think about what it will do for your blood and your chi. So if you don’t get your whole head under, nobody’s going to shave you for that.
[00:40:08] It’s fine. It’s just getting the body cooled off is very healing. I’m
[00:40:16] Lilly: [00:40:16] going to try
[00:40:17] Nell: [00:40:17] it when you open and it’ll be great. Cause we’ll get you a nice and warm and then you’re going to want it.
[00:40:23] Lilly: [00:40:23] Um, yeah, that’s really cool. Uh, Yeah, cold plunge. I feel like there’s definitely more and more people getting into it.
[00:40:31] It’s a big trend.
[00:40:32]Okay. So you are on track to open in June and um, where can people see some kind of like visuals of what this is going to look like? Do you have a spot to send them to on the interwebs?
[00:40:45] Nell: [00:40:45] So on the website, so the, um, watershedspa.com. Okay, that will get you to the link.
[00:40:53] There’s a video on the I fund women page. So watershedspa.com. will get you to the I fund women’s site. There’s a video there. I believe. There’s an image of the space on that site, but otherwise, it’s right on watershed Minneapolis in Instagram. Okay. We’ll be posting as many images as we can. I just did a video in the space, which is very raw right now.
[00:41:19] The construction hasn’t started yet.
[00:41:20] Lilly: [00:41:20] We’ll link all of that in the show notes here. So people can go check it out and you are doing a crowdfunding campaign on iFundWomen, so people can sign up and get some different perks too. So it’s kind of like pre-ordering.
[00:41:34] Some things with within Watershed, right? Yeah.
[00:41:37] Nell: [00:41:37] One thing that I love to keep forgetting to tell people there’s a salt scrub room. So you’re going to be able to go and do a full salt scrub. Wait, tell me more.
[00:41:46] So you will have a room with three it’ll be semi-private. You’re not going to be like. Lined up naked next to people there’ll be scrims in between. So you don’t see people, but you’re going to be able to get a full salt scrub. We will also have Vichy showers, but in the Korean baths, usually there’s long rooms.
[00:42:03] So we’re going to do something our own play on it. But on the iFundWomen’s site, we are giving away salt scrubs, which. I’m just super jazzed about, because I’m also making, you know, I own Nell’s remedies. I’m also making scrubs. So I’m thinking about what that is going to look like and feel. And it’s also one of my passions.
[00:42:22] I love doing full body salt scrubs people, and again, aurically that will cleanse your aura. Yeah. Soften your skin, you will feel so hydrated. It’s great. So that’s another cool element that’s happening down. Yeah. In the lower level. Yeah. I fund women. Is where you can go and find out about that. We just launched, we’re going to be launching membership.
[00:42:46] So we’ll have probably 50 memberships. We’re going to cap it. So like for like a launch membership or a founding membership, Yeah, well, we’ll keep that on forever, but we’ll always have just a certain amount of people that we can have as a membership cook because memberships will get early access to certain things.
[00:43:07] And we’re also going to have a shed night. So Tuesday nights will be a sliding scale night. Oh, I love that. Yeah,
[00:43:15] Lilly: [00:43:15] that’s really great to make it more accessible. That’s awesome.
[00:43:18] Nell: [00:43:18] Very important in the communal bathing. Yes.
[00:43:22] Lilly: [00:43:22] So how do you see the community using this bathhouse then? Because what I think about in terms of like the history of bath houses, I just think about like the Romans and just all these men getting together and having, you know, discussions while they’re bathing.
[00:43:37] Nell: [00:43:37] So we will probably try to keep the space pretty Zen when you’re in it.
[00:43:45] So we’re going to kind of, we’re working with some sound engineers on, you know, vibing the space. We will have an area where we’re going to do meditation. You know, that relaxation station area, we will have some live meditations, not sure on the schedule on that yet. We just want to get this kind of moved through.
[00:44:06] And then we also have a room where people can meet that they’ll be able to rent. Oh, so that will be, and that’ll be in the lower level. So my, my thought though is that general action of the space is to really spend time quietly amongst people in a peaceful environment. So not so much. Chitter-chatter okay.
[00:44:30] Yeah, I was in Vienna and I, I had the craziest experience where this guy kept saying to me, we’re going to schvitz! And he just wanted to like talk the whole time. It was really very sweet, but it’s, it’s interesting how yes, the different cultures are really, yeah. In Europe, people aren’t talking in the sauna that, that I’ve noticed, they’re seeing it as more of a treatment.
[00:44:55] Okay. That makes sense. That’s, that’s what I’ve seen. I’m not sure how it is. I haven’t been to Turkey yet, and there’s a couple of other places I need to hit, but
[00:45:02]So yeah. Anyway. I hope you’re excited because I am so excited. I can’t wait to get this going. I can’t wait. I mean, Spot will always continue to uplevel the wellness experience, but this is just going to be such a great marriage.
[00:45:19] Yeah. As a healer, it’s like a dream come true. Yeah. I can’t wait
[00:45:23] Lilly: [00:45:23] to see it. And we should mention too. It is in the old Soap Factory location. So it’s kind of close to Spot’s original location, right?
[00:45:34] Nell: [00:45:34] That’s right. Yep. So we’ll be right near, um, right behind in between. I like to say in between Alma and the Stone Arch bridge.
[00:45:41] Nice. So it’s kind of a nice, I mean, I love the fact that we’re right near the river and that you, you know, just think you could do sauna, soak, plunge, and then just go walk over the river. Yeah. You beautiful. And then you didn’t even have to drive two hours away to find it or five hours or so right here, I think it’s going to be really good for the community and we’ll see what happens.
[00:46:05] Lilly: [00:46:05] Well, I can’t wait for it. So, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast and telling us all about it. Thanks for having me. Yeah. We’ll include all the links, to the website, social media and,to the ifund women page as well. So people can go grab those salt scrubs and little, the goodies that are available there.
[00:46:25] Nell: [00:46:25] you so much for having me on. I really appreciate it.