Walking in to “Wellness Vitality,” you’re invited to take off your shoes and relax. Yes, take off your shoes.

Liz Evans recently opened a wellness center in Hotchkiss at 110 S. Seventh St. Unit B. Taking your shoes off is part of other aspects of Japanese tradition clients experience at this business. The center offers a variety of wellness programs, services and technologies.

Fitness gurus say you need to look and feel good, but these are side effects, Evans said. The real deal is when you get done with your workout or wellness routine, and have more energy to love, connect with people and do the things, only you can do. That’s what Wellspring Vitality is about.

“Our mission is to love people and love vitality,” Evans said. “It’s going to be the commitment we’re making, the commitment we’re going to expect you to hold us to. … That’s the reason we’re here. Is to love people enough to connect with them and to help them. Without vitality, we’re unable to live out the purpose we were created for.”

Decades of Experience

Evans has been doing massage for over 20 years. She studied at the Baltimore School of Massage and graduated in 2001. She worked in a spa in North Carolina and went back to Maryland and started a small wellness center there — HandsOnBodyWorks. She sold the business and took a bit of a break to focus on her children.

She moved to the Durango area in Colorado in 2007, and discovered the North Fork Valley soon after.

“What I found that blew my mind was … this place, if you didn’t already know it, is a healing zone,” Evans said. “I have found so much help with nutrition, the organic food that is grown here, started to learn about the Carolina therapy that I do and I teach to other body workers. … I have evolved and grown and healed so much as a person being here and I hear that from so many other people.”

According to Evans, native Utes held healthing ceremonies at Needle Rock. They considered the area a sacred healing space, she recalled. Such a special place attracts people and those who bring wellness to others, Evans said. She added that others in the healing field agree this area is special and they share similar experiences.

Evans said she’s always had the idea of creating a space like her present business. While working at the Hotchkiss Yoga Tree for about five years, she felt a yearning to work more closely with others and decided to take the leap.

Part of her vision was to create something that went beyond the normal gym bringing in new technologies while keeping it affordable. She had clients, friends and family who decided to invest in her idea. She was already developing this project when COVID started and pandemic delayed her official opening. Now, what she and her collaborators are offering is a hub which, she says, offers a big city experience.

“It’s definitely been a community effort,” Evans said. “For me, being able to work with and collaborate with great people … The people that are coming here, the things that we are creating together are so exciting to me because it’s more than anything I can do on my own. I love the collaboration. And I love that we can collaborate with the community now. Opening our doors, getting them in, getting them started on life changing experiences, start to heal and I am really excited about what’s going to happen.”

A wellness pub

A visitor walking into Wellspring Vitality encounters a large room filled with wellness offerings. Evans calls this a wellness pub. It’s a place where the community can gather for wellness technologies, classes, workshops and more.

This room and the immediate vicinity includes such offerings as: Ceragem, Liveo2 EWOT, Salt Therapy, Infrared Sauna, MitoRedLight, Vibra-Pro Training and fitness classes. There are also classes and workshops. Although many of these offerings were online during COVID, the hope going forward is to offer them in person.

Salt Therapy occupies a special room in Wellspring Vitality. The room has a relaxing atmosphere which includes a lounging area. A machine crushes salt small enough to be inhaled and absorbed through the skin. Salt therapy can help those experiencing asthma, cystic fibrosis, acne, psoriasis, stress, anxiety and more.

Another offering is exercise on Liveo2 EWOT. Participants exercise while breathing in pure oxygen. The amount that comes through the mask can vary, which helps with its benefits.

This wellness program is said to be anti-inflammatory and can help with things such as traumatic brain injuries, PTSD, pain and more. Those who elect this therapy are given a training session and guidance on using it properly. For full information on these technologies, visit wellspringvitality.com.

Wellness, vitality

What makes Wellness Vitality different is its focus, Evans said. They are focused on vitality — how can they “love you better.”

“If we put people first… we’re also going to benefit from that. People are going to want to be here, people are going to be attracted to that,” Evans said.

“You are never stuck” is another phrase Evans lives by and she wants to help others understand and strive for this concept. She said many people come in thinking they have a bad back (for example) and they believe they’ll always have a bad back. But here Evans said it’s their job to help them think differently in order find an answer to what they need.

“Once you give someone one spoonful of hope, and they take it in and it actually does something that they didn’t believe was possible, all of a sudden their whole world opens up,” Evans said. “It’s getting people started on their healing journey.”

Memberships

To get a wide range of services, memberships are offered, but space is limited for some services. An example is the “Fit” membership which includes: Access to all fitness classes; Fitness/ Movement Zone Access for workouts; Vibra-Pro training (up to three per week); Vibra-Pro Training (two free personal training sessions); one Ceragem session per month; 10% off EWOT; 10% off HandsOnBodyWorks; two Infrared Sauna sessions per month; and four Mitored sessions per month. This package is $155 as a single monthly membership or $135 as a couple/corporate monthly membership.

Evans emphasised her desire for the community to make use of her services and to keep her offerings affordable. To learn about additional membership options, visit wellspringvitality.com. For more information, call 970-872-WELL (9355). Tours are available.

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