| Mar 20, 2008

Feature Article - March 20, 2008

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Feature Article - March 20, 2008 Kindred Spirits: more than Sydenham's “Best kept secret”

Cindy Mills, Janet Howard, Billie Jo McKay.

It all started 10 years ago when Janet Howard turned a corner.

She was a single mother who had been working in Toronto as a dental assistant for 10 years, and she decided to make a change. So, she took a course in massage therapy, and moved to a cottage her uncle owned “back on Little Long Lake” and began doing massage in the basement of the E-Clips Hair Salon in Sydenham. She eventually moved her business to George Street. Five years ago she bought a house on Rutledge Road and opened the Kindred Spirits day spa on the first floor of the house.

She continues to offer massage therapy and has expanded her repertoire to include a variety of acupuncture services, including traditional acupuncture, auricular acupuncture, and most recently, facial acupuncture, which she says “can be like a facelift without botox or surgery.”

Janet has invited other practitioners into her home-based business over the past few years, and this past September she was joined by aesthetician Billie Jo McKay and Cyndy Mills who is a foot spa detox practitioner.

Harrowsmith-based Billie Jo, who has nine years experience as an aesthetician, has taken a couple of years off to have children, and for her the opportunity to work close to home was one of the reasons for joining Kindred Spirits. She offers anti-aging facials, manicures, pedicures, tinting, as well as service packages and ongoing specials. She also has a line of jewelry that is available at Kindred Spirits.

Cyndy Mills describes the foot massage technique she uses as “the newest method of detoxification available in Eastern Ontario, using the Platinum Energy System”.

It starts with a pressure point massage, moves to a soothing, cleansing foot spa soak, and ends with an aromatherapy cleanse and oil massage. Benefits from the treatments include pain, stress, and acidity reduction, improved circulation and sleep patterns, and an overall enhancement of physical and emotional well-being. Cyndy also offers magnetic therapy which she says can be of help for people dealing with several different maladies.

Additionally, Janet, Cyndy and Billie Jo are offering workshops and women’s circles that include meditation, couples’ massage and willow chair building courses, just to name a few. They will also be hosting ladies group spa days, wedding parties and mini retreats at the Sydenham location.

The new direction in Sydenham is not the only change in Janet Howard's future. She has purchased 50 acres on the Raymo Road in the Godfrey-Parham region, which she will be developing into a spiritual retreat centre.

The retreat centre will be developed over time, but Howard says the land is the ideal location for many possible uses, which she will be exploring over the next couple of years. But her new direction hasn’t stopped her from moving forward in Sydenham, and she has been involved with a group of Sydenham-based businesses that have been meeting regularly to look at improving the business and marketing environment in the hamlet.

Kindred Spirits can be reached at 376-3519

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