You can see the evolution of Moab reflected in the history of the building that houses the Healing Arts Center, said Lisa Albert, a licensed massage therapist (LMT) who has lived and worked in Moab for the last 16 years. Nine of those years she has worked in the Healing Arts Center.
The unassuming building, nestled in Center Street Square, was originally built by uranium pioneer Charles Steen. He used the offices for his mining business. Since the uranium bust and the advent of mass tourism to Grand County, the rear section of the building has morphed into a place of peace and healing.
“My philosophy is that there is no limit to the number of people who can benefit from our work. Part of our work is to educate, to expand awareness of what it is to be healthy and well,” said Lee Truesdell, an LMT and certified transformative coach, who has been working at the center for just over a year.
The Healing Arts Center was started by Annie Henderson. Henderson was a LMT, who also practiced Reiki and provided an aqua chi detox footbath. When she rented space in the building 12 years ago, Henderson called different practitioners that she knew and encouraged them to come and join her.
“Annie was the one who really started to turn it into a healing arts space,” said Albert, who was one of the first to join Henderson.
Henderson no longer provides services through the Healing Arts Center.
Now the Healing Arts Center has 12 therapists who work in the building. Their specialties range from massage, to acupuncture, to energy work. Many of the practitioners who work in the center have multiple certifications in a variety of fields. The center also offers a Pilates studio and instruction.
There is no ‘boss’ in the Healing Arts Center, but rather it is a collective of independent practitioners, who at times work closely with one another and refer patients to each other.
The in-house referrals seem to be something that patients appreciate.
“I’ve seen Lisa Albert, Lee Truesdell and Will Cooper, all of whom I would highly recommend,” Lisa Paterson said.
Paterson has been going to the Healing Arts Center on and off for the last eight years. Over those years she has done everything from energy work, to acupuncture, to spinal touch therapy, to foot reflexology.
This holistic approach to treatment is something that the center prides itself on. They believe that taking the time to really get to know and understand the patient and their medical history is key to providing the best possible treatment.
“The first time someone comes to see me, I’ll sit down with them and talk about their life, their health and other things,” Truesdell said. “They say, ‘Wow, my doctors have never done this.’”
One of the biggest challenges that the Healing Arts Center faces is the perception that massage and alternative medicine cannot be serious contributors to the healing process; that they just make you feel good. This, Albert said, couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Though a massage certainly can be a decadent treat, it can also help to solve a variety of medical issues. Rather than viewing it as just luxury, Albert advocates seeing it as an investment in yourself.
The Healing Arts Center’s therapists have worked hard to generate a feeling of calm and peace from the moment you walk in the door. And though the center is a bit hidden, its practitioners describe it as “a hidden asset.”
“The Healing Arts Center is a very welcoming calm spot to go receive any sort of body work. It doesn’t have a clinical feel at all,” Paterson said.
There is also the strong sense that the healers who work at the center have a deep love of what they do.
“It’s that sense of really connecting with people. It’s my passion, to be able to make that be my life’s work, it’s like playing,” Truesdell said. “I get to explore things that are personally interesting to me.”
The therapists who now work at the Healing Arts Center are: Ata Calfee, Lisa Albert, Will Cooper, Sarah Ball-Jacobsen, Lee Truesdell, Felix Tatarovich, Kira Schneider, Flora Najafi, Ambrosia Brown, Tasha Savage, Tawn Lee, and Mary Beth Fitzburgh.