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There's spa-induced serenity in the East Bay. In the Emeryville Health and Wellness Center on the second floor of a small office building on Powell Street, you are greeted with subtle skylights and crisp chilled water with lemon and cucumber.

This Health & Wellness Center combines various practices from massage to ayurveda but all are independent contractors with years of experience in their Individual fields.

Professional massage therapist Saskia Kleinert came up with the idea for such a collaboration, again with the idea of wholeness - treating the entire person, not just one aspect of health.'

"So often in our Individual practices, we reach the limit of what our specialty and training can do, and the ideal thing Is to refer to someone else," Kleinert says. "Someone with chronic inflammation, I can't treat with massage. I'll suggest acupuncture. Or someone going through emotional turmoil which can show in the skin, perhaps eczema - I can't treat the skin.

"My idea was to have it all together, so a person can combine appointments, streamline the treatment and make i t more efficient," she says. "We want people to get better, to live better. To have overall well-being and contentment."

The Emeryville team includes Soizic Ausmus from France. Her lovely, accent soothes you before you even have anything done. Then her fingers slide over your face like a sculptor smoothing clay, gently rounding the nuances of the shape. She's the skin care specialist and she uses French products based on aromatherapy that work with the immune system. She customizes skin treatments and does the classic waxing, tinting and the European facial.

Lindquist is the acupuncturist and Chinese herb specialist. Barbora Moravkova performs the ayurvedic treatment. "I talk with people about health. problems, family history," she says. "How do you prepare food? Do you use enough spices in cooking? Is the food cooked it at home or a restaurant? Do you watch TV while you eat? All this affects the whole. If someone comes with a stomach ache, the body is trying to tell you something."

Kleinert Is from Switzerland. She does orthopedic massage In addition to relaxation techniques and hot rock treatments. She traveled to Thailand last year to train In traditional Thai massage, and she's one of maybe 100 people In the United States who practice ashiatsu - massage with the feet. That explains the bars on the ceiling of her treatment room.

One might say it's the ultimate of balance.

"You can't stop life from happening around you," Kleinert says. "This is all about developing your internal self"

East Bay Express: Health & Wellness Center:

A holistic complement to Western medicine:
In Emeryville Health and Wellness Center owner Saskia Kleinert's homeland of Switzerland, health care is a far more holistic affair than here in the United States. Swiss doctors commonly practice multiple forms of medicine, combining Western and Eastern traditions and a variety of healing methods. US doctors are more likely to specialize in one or two fields, leaving large gaps in patient care. With this in mind, Kleinert set out to create a wellness center that would complement Western medicine.

Since opening solo a few years ago, she has assembled a cast of twenty practitioners who operate as independent contractors out of the tranquil space. Services offered include chiropractic, acupuncture, aromatherapy, massage and bodywork, yoga, Pilates, qigong, and whole-health consultations, all of which puts this site among the East Bay's most comprehensive wellness centers. Still, this doesn't stop Kleinert from cheerfully referring patients to whoever she thinks can provide the best care. No amount of massage, after all, can mend a broken leg.

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Saskia Kleinert's Emeryville Health and Wellness Center offers the kind of integrative health services she experienced in her native Switzerland. "It's common there to find doctors and health practitioners of both allopathic and natural medicine in the same office," Kleinert says. The Center is a fulfillment of her desire to add those complementary resources to a 13-year massage practice. "I frequently made referrals to other alternative health practitioners, but my clients wouldn't necessarily make the effort to follow up, so I decided to make it easier for them by bringing them all here under one roof," she explains.

The tranquil and exquisite facility feels as though it was transported from a high-end spa oasis somewhere in southeast Asia. Gracing the walls are original artworks from Thailand and Burma, where Kleinert has done advanced massage training. She hand-selects each of her colleagues based on the depth of their experience and training. "All our practitioners have great educational credentials and they live their work in their own lives," Kleinert says.

The Health and Wellness Center offers Swedish, orthopedic, Ashiatsu, and pre- and post-natal massage. The Center also provides acupuncture (complete with a full Chinese pharmacopia), chiropractic, homeopathy, acutonic treatments, skin care and facials, as well as two free classes each week from a selection of Pilates, Tai Chi, hatha and tao yoga, and gentle exercise. Judging by the blissful and calm expressions of several departing clients, the Center is a hit.

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Take a deep breath. Relax. The is just what the doctor ordered. An oasis of calm right in the middle of town. Enter Emeryville Health and Wellness Center and take a load off. Or have founder and Ashiatsu therapist, Saskia Kleinert, put her feet to the task! (Ashiatsu is deep tissue massage performed with the feet rather then the hands.)

Saskia's philosophy is based on the premise that we are all too sedentary. Our bodies were made to move. If they don't move they break down. "I always wanted clients to get better," says Kleinert, "I practice several kinds of massage but sometimes people have conditions where I'll suggest they go to another type of healer, like an acupuncturist. But they never follow doctor's orders! Now, with the acupuncturist, in-house, I can see my clients get better!"

Saskia decided to bring in other services to surround her massage therapy practice with yoga classes, acupuncture, skin care and chiropractic. Now with fourteen professionals, she feels she can truly treat clients holistically. People can combine appointments and make good health more attainable and efficient in their busy lives. Why Emeryville? "I always thought Emeryville was a great place to work because it is so accessible," says Saskia. "Small businesses are enhanced by this small town!"

Entering the center, you are soothed by gentle orchids, filtering sunlight and chilled citrus water. With several different modalities of treatment accessible, you can pick and choose what you need.