Category Archives: Employee Spotlight

Employee Spotlight: Heather Helton

It is no exaggeration to state that LMT Heather Helton has been an integral part of our team, for several years. She is dually trained in massage & acupuncture and offers a variety of customization within both realms of service. You can read about her extensive training here. Follow the jump below to learn more about Heather and her work here at Austin Springs Spa.


Q. What led you to a career in massage? A. I had always loved being able to help someone feel better. My dad has always suffered from back pain, and I feel my desire to help people began as a kid wanting to be able to somehow help my dad. As I grew older, I realized that I had some talent and worked with some of my high school sports teams with their sports injuries.

Q. What are some of your goals in working in this field? A. With my education and experience, I feel that I have a great deal of knowledge that I could share with others. One day in the not to distant future, I would like to begin putting energy into becoming a continuing education instructor. Women’s health is another area I would like to expand my practice to. A goal of mine is empowering women to be active in their health through all the changes we face. I have a growing desire to be a birthing assistant and I continue to be amazed at how well acupuncture works for complications that arise during menopause. I want women to know that they have options when it comes to their health. I would love for the Western and Eastern medicines to see how they can compliment each other, without needing to degrade the other.

Q. Are there misconceptions about acupuncture or the maternity services your offer? If so, how would you like to address those concerns? A. Many people think that getting a massage during pregnancy is not a good idea. This is just not the case. A woman’s body goes through a great deal of change during this stage of life and most need some assistance managing the changes. The main reason a woman would want to wait to get a massage is if she had complications around the pregnancy. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t believe massage from a therapist trained in prenatal massage would ever cause a miscarriage, but the reason we caution against it during the first trimester is because that is the time when most miscarriages occur. We would never want a woman to feel that something she did was the reason for the miscarriage.

As for acupuncture…the misconceptions are numerous. Acupuncture is an empowering treatment that helps your body to heal itself without the side effects from many pharmaceuticals. I guess the question I get asked most is does it hurt? The short answer would be not really. You are aware something is going on, but the needles are so thin (the size of a hair follicle) that most people describe it as a slight pinch. Even at my school, I was known as a gentle needler. If discomfort is felt, I will adjust the needle or even remove it when needed. I want my patients to be as comfortable as possible, and they are. I have to wake many when it is time to remove the needles.

Another big misconception is that acupuncture is only good for pain. This is not the case, either. Pain management is certainly the most frequent condition stated as a reason for having acupuncture treatments, but the scope of treatment reaches far beyond just decreasing pain. While being treated for pain, a patient will often realize that they haven’t needed to go to their doctor for their seasonal allergies or that their chronic heartburn hasn’t been bothering them lately. While acupuncture can be beneficial to treat and manage most medical conditions, it was designed to be preventative. Most people in this country use acupuncture as a last resort. Changing the mindset of individuals to receive treatment while still healthy, or even at the beginning of a condition, would greatly improve their quality of life.



Q. The nature of the services you perform creates a platform for a more intimate connection with the client. How does that affect how you prepare for your day, how you approach the client? A. What I do is very personal to me and my patients. I treat my work with the greatest respect and take steps to personally be healthy in order to benefit my patients the most. I take time before and during each treatment to direct my focus on helping my patient to heal. I practice tai chi and do stretching to release any tension I might be holding on to.

Q. What are a few things have you learned from working with your clients? A. Everyone is different and what works for one person, isn’t the answer for the next. It is crucial to find what is at the root of the problem; and that is not always what you expect it to be.

People come to me for help with a wide variety of conditions. I feel honored that someone would trust me with one of the most important things -their health. Health doesn’t just happen for most people. It is something that you have to make a conscious effort to maintain.

Q. Relaxation is a major factor in a happy, healthy life. What do you do to relax ? A. I love spending time with my family and being a mommy. I also love escaping into a good book.


Wow, it is so interesting to gain insight from a service provider so dedicated to her practice! If you are interested in booking with Heather, her schedule is limited, but we would love to look over her openings with you. Feel free to call us at 423-979-6043!


Employee Spotlight: Jeni Hasch

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Q. How long have you worked at Austin Springs? What was your education before joining us at the spa? A. I’ve worked at Austin Springs since 2009, and I obtained my Aesthetics & Instructors license from Jenny Lea Academy.

Q. What led you to a career in this field? A. My cousin worked in a plastic surgeon’s office, and I witnessed how they were changing people’s lives for the better. I was drawn to that.

Q. What are some of your goals working in aesthetics? A. I have two main goals: the first is helping people have a positive waxing experience. The second is performing anti-aging services for my mature clients. I understand the needs of their skin, since I’m around the same age.

Q. Can you share things that have you learned from your clients? A. I do feel like clients want to be educated, want to learn how to be their best in all aspects of life. I am here as support and to share stories. In some ways, I serve as a therapist, as well as an aesthetician.

Q. What is your favorite service to perform and why? A. I love to use hard wax. We use a French depilatory wax called Cirepil. It’s been around for generations and it doesn’t harm skin, just sticks to hair. Of course, we get amazing results with our SkinCeuticals line, due to the antioxidants. You can see results after one service.

Q. How do you stay up to date on the newest techniques, products, etc? What are you most excited about in the skin world? A. I stay up to date with continuing education, consulting with a peer group, and reading about new information. We just completed an updated training with SkinCeuticals, and we have scheduled one with the make up line we carry, Youngblood.

I am excited by SkinCeuticals for many reasons: the company was started by Dr. Sheldon Pinell. The Duke University Dermatologist received a grant to help prevent skin cancer, and this research led to the line we carry, today.


Q. What have some of the high points been during your time as our lead aesthetician? A. I love watching people grow and reach their potential. Some of our new hires might be fresh out of school and during their time here, they become amazing aestheticians! It’s exciting to be a part of that process.

Q. Relaxation is a major factor in a happy, healthy life. What do you do to relax? A. Almost every day I sit on my porch or dock and listen to music, and I love spending time with my six kids. As far as services we offer, I enjoy the Hydrating & Firming Facial.

Are you interested in working Jeni on a new skin regime, your waxing needs, or more? Call us at (423) 979-6403 to book with her! We have greatly benefited from her influence as our Lead Aesthetician, and we know you will too.

Employee Spotlight: Suzanne Sarli


Q. How long have you worked at Austin Springs? What was your education before joining us? A. I’ve worked here almost two years, now. I earned a business degree, from East Tennessee State University. I then graduated from Jenny Lea in 2010.

Q. What led you to a career in this field? A. I always knew wanted to be a hair stylist, but I wanted to obtain my degree, first. Once I finished up at ETSU, I pursued my passion in cosmetology.

Q. What is your favorite service to perform and why? A. I love foiling for blondes. It’s a challenge, but something I enjoy doing.

Q. What new hair trend are you loving this season? A. I love coppers that are featured this fall. Also, I love working on the various versions of ombre with my clients.

Q. What have you learned from your clients?  A. I have learned how to engage with different types of people. I take away something different from each person, whether it be helping them transform and making them feel more confident or getting to know them on a personal level. I’ve ended up becoming friends with several clients, and it’s one of the best aspects of my job.



Q. Beyond your work at Austin Springs Spa, are there any special hobbies you have? What do you do to have fun? A. My number one hobby is traveling. I also enjoy working out, attending concerts, hiking, and being active in general.

Q. Relaxation is a major factor in a happy, healthy life. What do you do to relax? A. Yoga and being outdoors helps me relax. I will book a massage when I can.

Q. What have you learned from working at Austin Springs? A. It’s definitely good to have teamwork as a foundation, and the hair team gets along really well. It makes a huge difference. We are all really good friends and know we have a constant support system.


Are you interested in booking a customized color or cut appointment with Suzanne? She would love to work with you, and we hope to hear from you soon! Call 423-979-6403 to book today.

Employee Spotlight: Sandy Freschi

Licensed Massage Therapist Sandy Freschi is one of our most experienced staff members, and a willing teacher, when the rest of of our spa family has questions about massage. Her training is varied, but most importantly, her obvious care for our clients and spa team is something to be admired. Read all about Sandy below!

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Q. How long have you worked at Austin Springs? What was your education before joining us at the spa? A. I’ve been working here since January 2011. I graduated from Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy in 1992. Over the years, I accumulated a number of advanced certifications to include neuromuscular therapy, orthopedic massage, and Quantum-Touch energy healing.

Q.  What led you to a career in this field?  A. In 1991 I decided to resign my commission in the United States Navy and was looking for a different career path.  Initially, I thought I would go into Clinical Psychology, since I was already working in the addictions counseling field. But then I had my first massage, and after floating for three days, I threw all my graduate school applications in the mail and applied for massage school.

Q. What are some of your goals in working in this field?  A. I have realized most of my goals over the course of my career.  I’ve owned and sold a successful massage practice. I taught massage therapy and energy healing at both the beginning and advanced levels. The only thing I hadn’t done until now is to work in a spa setting with a team of awesome people.  So, working at Austin Springs Spa has helped me achieve the best goal ever.

Q. What is your favorite service to perform and why?  A. I love doing Quantum-Touch energy healing. I love doing it as strictly energy healing, and I love integrating it into massage. It is one of the most powerful healing tools I’ve ever used. I’ve witnessed clients’ bones move themselves back into alignment, people having emotional releases which healed a lifetime of pain, and cancer patients getting through chemotherapy with decreased side effects. Quantum-Touch is most known for its ability to straighten spines, but it’s the power of amplified life-force energy combined with love that accelerates whole body healing in all kinds of ways.  I love doing it because each session puts me into profound touch with the miracle of the body’s ability to heal itself.

Q. What have you learned from your clients?  A. Over the years my clients have taught me how to facilitate their healing on many levels. It’s never just about the touch. It’s the connection and intuitive understanding (which they have helped me develop) that helps most people open themselves up to deep relaxation and healing.

Q. Are there misconceptions about certain services you perform that you would like to address? A. There is a belief out there that you have to apply pressure from the outside (like deep massage) to relieve a person’s physical pain.  I believe that the most powerful pain relief comes when the client is able to go inside and open up to their innate ability to relax and heal themselves. Because Quantum-Touch works from the inside out, people who are used to the “outside-in” healing paradigm don’t quite get how powerful it is … until they try it.

Q. Beyond your work at Austin Springs Spa, are there any special hobbies you have? What do you do to have fun? A. I am a budding gourd artisan. I accidentally grew gourds in my garden last year, lots of them. And I’ve been learning how to make them into decorative bowls and birdhouses.

Q. Relaxation is a major factor in a happy, healthy life. What do you do to relax?  A. Regular massage is essential when you’re a massage therapist, so I get a massage regularly. I also walk, do Zumba, spend time with my family, and maintain a daily spiritual practice to keep my life and perspective in balance.

Wow, isn’t her background so impressive? We certainly think so! If you’re interested in booking with Sandy, call us at 423-979-6403. She looks forwarding to seeing you soon.