Saturday was the one year anniversary of Zardus Art of Massage and Wellness Spa on Lincoln Avenue in Gardiner. What a celebration it was inside a beautiful historic building directly across from the Gardiner Common, where I spent every afternoon with my kids back in the day.

When I walked in, the smell of fragrant oils filled the air. So did the sound of music, coming from a room at the end of the hall. It was an amazing trio of women, Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm, who sang and played drums. They would occasionally play other things like the violin and hand held percussion instruments, but mainly it was drums and voices. You couldn't help but tap your foot. Some even danced.

Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm
Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm
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As this was going on, there were sessions of all types happening in the many rooms that were spread out over three floors. Massage of all types (trigger point, trouble spot, aroma therapy), Reiki, yoga, belly dancing, palm reading, henna tattoos, art. It was a potpourri of things to celebrate a year in business and the people sure turned out for it!

Tess Zardus, the owner, was doing Reiki and energy therapy. I got to talk with her between sessions and she was loving every minute of seeing happy people taking part in a day that was well planned.

Dr. Mike McLaughlin, a clinical psychologist who works with Zardus and also has his own practice nearby, was there to do a class on "remembering the relaxation response." You can learn more about what he offers at his website: The Gardiner Center for Stress Management, LLC.

What were my favorite things? Glad you asked!

Starla Perrico, Aromatouch Hand Massage
Starla Perico, Aromatouch Hand Massage
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Starla Perico was doing aromatouch hand massage with essential oils. I know she used peppermint oil on my hands. Don't ask how it works but I was completely relaxed for the rest of the day and couldn't stay awake past 8 on Saturday night. Plus, my hands smelled great!

I also visited Karen Stultz who was doing, "emotional freedom tapping," using hypnosis to put me into a relaxed state. Not the kind where you cluck like a chicken (although I did) but, rather, a state where my mind was clear and I was readily open to suggestion. She had me in a beautiful forest, which I can still see and smell (truth). I don't even remember there being any spiders there. I would have snapped out of it for sure! At the end, again, I was super relaxed.

Karen Stultz, Emotional Freedom Tapping
Karen Stultz, Emotional Freedom Tapping
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Do yourself a favor. Treat yourself to some real, therapeutic relaxation and stress relief. They're masters of it at Zardus. You will never regret giving yourself (or someone you love) that gift!