Pippa Martin is a woman with a following.
Trained as an an aromatherapist in her native U.K., and here in the U.S. as a wellness massage therapist, she’s a reiki master and has also studied reflexology over the last three years, a practice for which she’s become much sought-after in Fairfield County.
“Reflexology is working on the feet, mirroring the body. It’s very good for stress and tension, anxiety, improved circulation, even cancer patients, it helps the body balance itself. I do healing work with reflexology. The feet are, in my view, the best way to get to whole healing.”
Despite being highly in demand with a client list that includes athletes, doctors and others, Martin doesn’t necessarily like to put a name to what she does other than ‘healer.’ “Reflexology, massage and reiki are my tools, just like a cook is going to have a whisk, a cake pan. It’s what I need to do, to listen to the person for what they need,” she says, adding that it’s part spiritual and it’s part physiology. “It’s science and art. Doctors will send patients to me for pain management. It does have a physical component.”
Martin has her own private practice, but has set aside time to work in Wilton at Ura Spa, the new oasis that Heather Bova just opened at 444 Danbury Rd. in Cannondale. It’s the perfect setting for Martin and her work, judging just by the name: ‘Ura’ is a Celtic symbol with a special meaning.
“In the Celtic alphabet, every symbol is represented by a plant. The plant represented by this symbol is the heather plant–which stands for passion, luck, love, healing, generosity, refinement, renewal and all good things. That’s what the derivation of the name comes from,” Bova explained.
With an official Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting scheduled for tomorrow, Feb. 5, Bova has been nothing short of thrilled with the launch.
“We wanted to bring in great healers, therapists and estheticians, and we’ve done that; we wanted the spa to be aesthetically pleasing. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be in Wilton, and it’s all working out so it must have been meant to be,” she said.
It’s good fortune for Bova, that the heather flower is purple, which runs through the design scheme as well as the juju there. “Purple is the highest healing color, actually,” Martin added.
No matter what kind of ‘healing’ someone is in need of–whether it’s on the surface like skin issues or in need of a pick-me-up massage, to something deeper, like divorce or recovery from a major sickness, Bova hopes the spa can provide a welcoming oasis. “Everyone has something that they’re going through.” In addition to the “energy work” that Martin does, the other services on the menu include Ayurvedic treatments, salt scrubs, wraps, facials, massages, and esthetic services.
“Healing never ends, it’s a journey. It doesn’t stop and goes in so many different ways–mental, physical, spiritual. You can’t heal one without the other,” adds Pippa. “Everything connects.”
In Ura, Martin certainly chose a calm, soothing place to use as her Wilton base. The palatte of paint colors are calm and soothing, and there’s an urban design aesthetic that certainly makes you think “pampered chic.” From the pretty waterfall behind the desk to the music playing throughout, it’s meant to put you at ease.
Bova and Martins have known one another through the spa network of Fairfield County and the two women were eager to work together when Bova opened her own location.
“Pippa helps facilitate what this whole spa is about. It’s not just about the external. There is more than one way to heal ourselves. You can come and have a great massage, and you can also be open to a great spiritual awakening. There’s both. We offer everything. We say, ‘It’s more than a spa, it’s enhancement of the soul.'”
What’s it like to hear that people think of her as a pied piper of healing, a guru that people will follow? In her trademark down-to-earth way, Martins says, “Why do people come back? It’s like why do you go back to a hairdresser? Because someone is making you feel and look good, they’re doing it the best they can. It’s the same thing I do.”
Ura the Spa is at 444 Danbury Rd. and can be reached at 203.762.6200.