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Prepare to be pampered at Natural Path Wellness Center
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Natural Path Wellness Center owner Jennifer Komatsu (left) explains the good points of herbs to regular customer Alyssa Harris of Ripon. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The 209

RIPON – Ripon veterinarian Ann Scearce stops by once every four weeks for facials with aesthetician Edy Fowler.

Alyssa Harris comes in for eyebrow waxing and massage. It’s a once-a-week, one-hour visit for the neck and back, and sometimes full-body, massage.

Kristin Rascon, for the last six months, has been coming in not only for the massage therapy but for the wide array of herbal remedies and essential oils that are offered here as well.

The place where all three women go for a plethora of health and aesthetic reasons is the Natural Path Wellness Center on Main Street in the heart of historic Ripon. It’s a place where owner Jennifer Komatsu decided to locate a day spa – and more – where she can offer “an alternative approach to restoring and maintaining your body’s natural ability to heal itself through modalities such as massage, iridology, Ayurvedic, nutritional counseling, natural hormone balancing, colon hydrotherapy, homeopathic supplements, herbal remedies, and vitamins.”

But that’s not all. They also offer “love your skin” events with a licensed esthetician and Dermalogica® educators helping those who want to learn how to achieve the healthiest possible skin, what products are right for them and how to use them.

Reflexology on hands and feet with or without hot stone, hydrating eye and lip treatment, crystal/stone therapy, microdermabrasion with hydro wand, detox/contour wrap, and sinus massage are other soothing and health-promoting offerings that everyone can get themselves pampered, even if they have only a half-hour stolen time during lunch to get spoiled. Veterinary doctor Scearce, whose clinic is just a few minutes brisk walk from Natural Path (but chose to bring her car in the interest of time) did just that on Friday when she came in for her regular facial during the noon hour.

These, coupled with specialty blends and essential oils plus yoga and ballet barre sessions that have won devotees like Madonna, Kellly Ripa, and Natalie Portman are designed to help people like Harris and Scearce improve quality of life through stress reduction, balanced emotion, better sleep and increased flexibility. The ballet barre sessions are not big novelties in cosmopolitan cities like San Francisco but they are new to Central Valley, explained Komatsu, a certified massage therapies whose background includes 15 years working in holistic health in a chiropractic office plus an equal number of years working as a hearing representative for a law office where she managed 500-plus cases.

High school senior Harris comes in for a weekly massage to feel better following a car accident six months ago. She discovered at the same time that the regular massage has been beneficial in helping her cope with another problem that has plagued her for years.

“The massage helps with my headaches. I have migraines; so does my mom, and so does my grandmother,” Harris said.

Back pain and fatigue are the other big reasons her mother and grandmother seek massage therapy regularly at the Natural Path Wellness Center, she added.

For Rascon who is “dealing with infertility,” she said she believes the massage helps with the IVF (in vitro fertilization) process. “The massage helps with the blood flow and helps in egg fertility and egg quality.”

Six months ago, she started “looking for someone who knows what they are doing,” she said, and found Komatsu to be the one she was looking for. “She has good experience; she has good techniques.”

Komatsu said she found the ideal place to open Natural Path Wellness Center two years ago when she “drove past it” during that year’s almond blossoms festival. The building used to be a chiropractic office.

She decided to open her business there because “I live in Ripon and Ripon is a good community,” plus the Almond Capital of the World is very centrally located in the valley, she said.