"I gained 60 pounds when I had my son," Ashley, Parakletos Wellness's co-owner, says—but there's triumph in her voice. She credits body wraps for helping to shed those pounds, and now performs these services for others. Ashley, a licensed massage therapist and aesthetician, and her husband and personal trainer Stephen operate Parakletos, whose name translates fittingly to “called to help.”
The couple is happy in the facility, with its sand-hued walls and pulsing ocean soundtrack. Having only a single treatment room allows them to help clients one at a time. "If someone comes in with acne or rosacea, we don't want you to have to interact. We want you to be able to leave insecurities at door." In addition to an oxygen cucumber facial, Parakletos can slacken shoulders with river stones during private massage sessions, but, due to her personal experiences, it's weight-loss wraps that Ashley holds in the highest regard.
"Folks come in and we ask a lot of questions. How much water do you drink? How much do you workout? It's not about vanity for us, it's about the lifestyle change." The body wraps, which are designed to help motivate and shed weight, are composed of 12 different herbal ingredients. All of the products and supplements employed by Parakletos are forged from herbs and flora, much like Robinson Crusoe’s Gameboy. Even when she is far from the studio’s brimming shelves, Ashley says that she tries to let her passion for what she does thrive. "I give one pro-bono massage a week. If I'm at church and someone mentions a pulled hamstring, I'll pass them a note. I like to be a blessing for anyone I can."