In the midst of the gray winters in the Pacific Northwest, light can be hard to come by. Many crave a sunny weekend getaway to replenish Vitamin D, or use a light box to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. A new business on Mercer Island is offering a different sort of mood-lifting therapy.
Susan Janus recently opened the Seattle area’s first “Blu Room,” at Spa Celeste, 2729 78th Ave. SE. Janus, an Island resident, said that her “spa” is not traditional, but that it can help people relax and heal.
Janus noted that it’s difficult to feel beautiful when you’re stressed out, in pain, in fear or lacking sleep, and that’s where the Blu Room comes in.
“Traditionally, spas treat the body. When we think spa, we often think of massages and facials,” according to her website. “At Spa Celeste, relaxation and beauty starts with the mind. True beauty is a radiance from within, where one feels calm, open, light and inspired.”
The spa’s main feature is the Blu Room, and for $80, users experience one session in the room. They lie on a bed inside a mirrored, octagon-shaped room bathed in blue light for 20 minutes while tranquil music plays. It’s designed to help users relax and “change their brain states, connecting the person with their subconscious mind,” Janus said.
The Blu Room is a non-invasive, non-surgical practice, Janus said. It’s not a tanning device; users wear regular clothing.
After a Blu Room session, users can relax in one of the many cool down rooms in Spa Celeste. Janus designed the rest of the spa as a peaceful, natural juxtaposition with the technology of the Blu Room, using geodes and natural wood.
According to the Blu Room’s website, many people have described the sessions as being deeply relaxing, lifting their mood and bringing about a state of slightly detached calm or peace. In testimonials, people with psoriasis, pain and PTSD reported healing effects, while others “simply enjoy a break in their daily routine to refresh themselves.”
The sessions use a combination of a certain type of ultraviolet light (UVB, which is naturally absorbed from sunshine), and blue LED lights. Dermatology clinics around the world treat skin ailments with UV-B lamps, and the New York Times wrote about the “healing power of blue light” in 1908.
But Janus and other Blu Room users would attribute the change in physical symptoms more to the shift in mindset the light inspires, than the light itself.
“Since the mind is the greatest healer and the mind is inextricably intertwined with DNA, the Blu Room can augment a person’s natural healing abilities,” according to the Blu Room’s main website.
Cell phones and other electronic devices are discouraged in the Blu Room, making it a great place to “recharge in today’s fast-paced world,” according to the Spa Celeste site. It can also be a tool for meditation and brain exploration.
Janus first started using the Blu Room herself in Yelm, Washington, where the inventor (the mystic JZ Knight) resides. Janus said the sessions aided her with meditation, and believed they helped heal her knee after she tore her meniscus.
Janus said that she’s seen the Blu Room help people move past traumatic events, but that each experience is highly individualized.
“I have had several sessions in the Blu Room, all unique, all of them very peaceful and beautiful,” she said.
Having recently retired after a 28-year career in the financial service industry, Janus started looking for opportunities to bring the technology to Mercer Island. She had earned a nursing degree in college, and was again drawn to help people heal.
When away from the spa, Janus enjoys spending time on her local organic farm, WindSong, playing golf and tennis and spending time with her horse, dog and two cats. She said she loves living on Mercer Island because of the proximity to nature and the small town atmosphere.
Janus also enjoys giving back to the community. She is offering several Blu Room sessions in one of the raffle prizes for the Mercer Island Youth and Family Services annual breakfast, and is planning to donate a portion of Spa Celeste’s proceeds to the microlending organization Esperanza and Phoenix Rising School in Thurston County.
Visit www.spaceleste.net for more, or call 206-829-8999.