Massage Therapist Draws On Russian Nursing Experience / The Slice

Christopher and Yevgeniya (Zhenya) are celebrating the success of their Russian Day Spa by giving guests a world tour — a remodeled spa with international-themed decor. Their spa recently reached a milestone many small businesses never see — its third year in operation. Certain they’re poised for continued success, the couple moved closer to town for their new location at Woodmen & Rangewood.

The regime sounds international, too: “River Nile Lymphatic Facial,” “Tsar’s Massage,” and “Rejuvenating Moor Wrap.” The spa offers massages, body wraps, ear candling, waxing, pedicures and manicures. There is also a hair salon where services include highlights, cuts, color and perms.

Prices for massages range from $49 for the foot “reflexology” to $155 for a massage for two. Half and full-day packages can be $399, although some customers will break up the treatments into separate visits.

Chris emphasized the spa is as well-known for facials as it is for massage. Clients can choose from 15 kinds of facials, and the spa’s skin-care product line.

Medical knowledge

The world-tour theme is appropriate: Yevgeniya was born and raised in Russia, where she attended medical school and studied nursing.

“I was a massage therapist in my country,” she said. “To do that in my country, you have to be a nurse.”

Yevgeniya applies her medical training to her massage therapy work. Some of her clients are referred by Dr. Azmi Farag, a general practitioner at 5455 N. Union Blvd.The Brazys are working to form a medical advisory board made up of physicians and specialists who will answer medical questions and offer advice to spa staff who might notice health-related problems when working with clients. The Brazys also want to refer clients to members of the board.

“If we see a skin concern or a suspicious mole during a facial, we can send (the client) to a doctor,” Chris said.

Farag agreed to serve as an advisor and thinks combining medical expertise with massage therapy makes sense. For example, massage therapists might make a back injury worse if they don’t understand what treatment will heal and not hurt the patient. Yevgeniya’s background in medicine makes her more effective, Farag said.

“She is very knowledgeable about what she does, and she can determine which type of massage will better the patient,” he said.

More than a year ago, Farag recommended Candace Valentine seek massage therapy treatment at the couple’s Chapel Hills Mall spa. Valentine, who lives north of Pueblo, has suffered from degenerative disc disease since 1991, when she injured her back in an automobile accident. She has had multiple surgeries and various massage treatments, as well as physical therapy and rehabilitation. Nothing eased her pain.

“I had really given up on massage therapy,” she said. But her results with Yevgeniya were different. “She cured the headaches. It’s just amazing what it can do. It was so good, and it really did help with those symptoms.”

Valentine said Yevgeniya relates well to her clients.

“She’s always interested in you,” Valentine said. “She’s even called me at home to see how I was doing.”

Valentine gave almost everyone on her Christmas list a gift certificate to Yevgeniya’s. Some have since returned to the spa on their own, she added.

Farag also sent Joyce Johnson-Rushing, of Cheyenne Mountain Ranch to the day spa. Johnson-Rushing, in pain after an automobile accident, said she visited every other week, starting in August 2002. Farag told her to try hot stone therapy, which Yevgeniya touts as her specialty. It’s the spa’s most requested treatment at $75. A massage therapist places warm, smooth stones on the client’s skin. The warmth seeps into the muscles, loosening them, making the following massage more effective. Yevgeniya also holds the stones in her hands when she gives the massage.

“She was very good, and both treatments were helping me ” Johnson-Rushing said.

An international retreat

Their new day spa boasts multiple rooms designed to reflect international cultures and offer a luxurious, relaxing experience few other spas do in the state. Designers covered the walls in rich, dark paint shades and hung matching curtains and art.

“We wanted the feel of European luxury, like where the royalty would live,” Chris said.

The couple tried to create an atmosphere different from the average combination hair salon and spa with a couple of rooms for massage in the back, Chris said. Instead, they designed a day spa getaway, a true spa retreat, where one can get away from the stress of daily life.

Although their north Springs location may seem out of the way for those near the Broadmoor, many drive from the west and south sides of Colorado Springs and even as far as Denver & Pueblo, because it feels like a relaxing getaway, and the drive time is well worth it, Chris added.

The drive from Garden Ranch is worth it to Rob and Lina Duman, who have been to the spa twice. Longtime mall spa customers, the Dumans visit Yevgeniya’s frequently for everything from couples massages to bikini waxing for Lina.

“It’s a luxurious type of setting. They’ve really done a good job at creating a nice, relaxing atmosphere just to get away from it all,” Lina said.

Alisha Smith, radio personality for KCAT & KVUU’s (99.9 FM) “Coffey and Alisha in the Morning,” visited Yevgeniya’s in the Black Forest after the spa donated a year’s worth of free skin and body services to the station’s Christmas giveaway program.

“It was awesome,” she said. “It’s a beautiful, beautiful place.”

A Springs Ranch resident, Smith said the spa’s luxurious atmosphere reminded her of going to The Broadmoor hotel.

Below: Yevgeniya Brazy, co-owner of Yevgeniya’s Russian Day Spa gives a hot stones treatment to Mike Morley. The treatment is her most requested massage.

Top: Bonnie Fox gives a facial to Regina Cowles. Photos by Molly Hauxwell/The Slice