John McDonough has spent his life rising to meet outdoor challenges. Years ago he began traveling the globe as a skier and rock climber, finding adventure and challenges on faraway mountains and snowy cliffs. After more than two decades on skis and 15 years scaling rocks, the AMGA Certified Single-Pitch Instructor––who once accompanied an inspiring group of blind climbers on a trip––now operates First Ascent Mountain School. The gig comes with the daily pleasure of watching beginners submit to the powerful sense of awe and accomplishment that comes with mountaineering. As First Ascent's founding director, John has assembled a small band of professional mountain guides who shared his zeal for nature and teaching. The crew touts a penchant for making the sometimes-intimidating activities of rock-terrain climbing and snowshoeing accessible to anyone who is interested.
The best place to study traditional Chinese medicine is in China, which is where licensed acupuncturist and herbalist Na Zhai completed her training. She was invited to teach medical professionals in Austria at the same time, where she completed more than three years of courses in western medicine. She combines knowledge from her education in eastern and western medicine with over 20 years of clinical experience to provide services to her patients.
At Your Pathway 2 Wellness, Julie Smith helps purge and purify the body through gentle, holistic health services. Colon hydrotherapy uses warm, filtered water to detoxify and revitalize the body, while the raindrop technique uses essential oils and feathery massage to promote structural and energy alignment. Julie harnesses energy-tuning forks to activate energy in the body and clear blockages in the chakras.
Georgi Gochis—an internationally certified neuromuscular therapist—helms the treatment team at Manitou Wellness Center. Along with her staff, Georgi takes a holistic approach to wellness, focusing on the mind-body-soul connection and employing methods that are safe for patients of all ages.
In addition to running her own practice, Georgi researched and developed her own method of massage, known as aquatic craniosacral therapy. She also spent two years serving as the team massage therapist for the Sky Sox baseball team and mended muscles at three international figure-skating competitions. Today, she is pursuing a PhD in natural medicine at Quantum University for Integrative Medicine and is a part of The Woman Health Team, a collaboration of therapists who shed light on female-specific health issues and the importance of wearing matching jerseys.
Within a renovated church, owner Sarah Kendall styles hair with the skills that made her an educator for TIGI, Phyto, and Kydra. A plaster angel reminiscent of the Winged Victory of Samothrace hangs illumined on the salon's golden walls, hovering over spacious styling stations fully equipped with full-length mirrors and cabinets. Private treatment rooms welcome guests with spa treatments that include massages and facials. In the lobby, clients seeking to take home supplies to maintain their hair treatment or facial can browse a cabinet full of designer products by the light of glowing stained-glass windows.
Serene Waters completely clears underbrush from nether regions with all-natural hard wax and a gentle touch in an intimate setting. Aesthetician Shannon Suhr's steady hands carefully uproot fuzz with specially formulated wax that sticks to hair but, like a defective magnet, will not adhere to skin, leaving skin bare for longer than shaving. Shannon selects her skincare products from locally owned businesses in the community, all of which are free of harsh chemicals or parabens.