I came. I saw. I got a massage!
No, I’m not Julius Caesar, but I couldn’t resist making a comment similar to the old Roman general’s when thinking about my visit to the Four Pillars Spa at San Marco Plaza, here in Lakewood Ranch.
Mind you, I’d never experienced a “spa” session, and, before walking into Four Pillars, the closest I’d come to a massage by an experienced professional was a chiropractic visit. The short massage that I received from Kris Griffith, one of the experienced (18 years worth!) licensed massage therapists at Four Pillars, on the other hand was DEFINITELY a much more pleasant experience.
I arrived at Four Pillars on a Saturday morning, the day of the spa’s grand opening. The Four Pillars spa is located on the second level of San Marco Plaza on the central circle of the plaza.
I was a bit early for the grand opening, but arriving early enabled me to have some one-on-one conversations with some of the people who are making Four Pillars into a positive, enjoyable experience for Lakewood Ranchers.
Leann Spofford, marketing and events director for Four Pillars, gave me a quick tour of their well appointed facility. As she showed me around, she commented on the source concepts that lent themselves to the name Four Pillars: mind, body, spirit, and social connection. The idea of Four Pillars is that a client will have available, under one roof, everything they need to add balance to their lives. Spofford noted that Four Pillars plans to invite New York Times best-selling authors to speak at Four Pillars on their particular areas of expertise.
Four Pillars exists to enable their clients to take care of themselves now – to achieve a more peaceful existence before “stuff happens” to complicate their lives.
Four Pillars offers complete spa services, such as massages, microdermabrasion, hot tissue massages, hot stone massages, “executive facials” (for guys), and Reiki therapy.
Cheri Christiansen, founder of Four Pillars, started out as an accountant, became a health care administrator and certified financial planner, and then added “certified life coach” to her list of accomplishments. Her vision is to bring the atmosphere of places like Sedona, Az., to southwest Florida. Part of her vision is the upcoming construction of a permanent spa/retreat, which will be located on several acres of land in southern Lakewood Ranch, on lakefront property east of Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, south of University Parkway and just north of the new Waterside community. In locating her future home of Four Pillars in that area, Cheri is linking the growth of Four Pillars to the growth of the newest phase of Lakewood Ranch.
The Four Pillars Spa at San Marco has several rooms dedicated to spa and massage activity, team discussions and life coaching, a “reading and self-improvement” area stocked with books on spirituality and self-knowledge, and areas where a client can also get assistance in the use of scented oils – which promote healing and enable the user to sleep better, for example, without pills. Four Pillars’ oil expert, Malaika Burley, explained to me how certain scented oils assist in promoting healing, enabling people to sleep better, etc. A couple of “test” drops of peppermint oil on my hands, and …WOW.
As a venue for unusual experiences, Four Pillars offers specialized massages, such as Reiki, performed by Reiki master and registered nurse Pat Crawford, and interior design assistance from Laurel James, a Ringling design grad whose concept of “interiorology” aims to provide her clients with a “balanced, supportive, and flourishing” home.
Not the least important of the services offered by Four Pillars is that of connecting with veterans who may need some life coaching assistance as they transition into civilian life. In this effort, Four Pillars has partnered with GreenZone Hero, a web-based directory of “veteran- friendly” businesses.
The atmosphere at Four Pillars is friendly, warm and supportive. The people are even more so.
So- come on down and see the future of mind, body, spirit and social connection in Lakewood Ranch – Four Pillars.