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'I kind of feel tranquil' | Charlotte spa sees uptick in clients seeking to relieve COVID-19 stress

People looking to unwind have been finding their escape post-pandemic.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — "This is my calling," said a smiling Anita Deneen her business was born out of wanting to help others. When asked if opening a Spa in the middle of the pandemic was a dangerous idea she replied "It’s not dangerous when you have faith." 

Deneen is the owner of Zamariya Spa of Africa, which is located in the University area. Deenen says since the pandemic, she's seen an increase in the numbers of people in need of help as they deal with stressful situations.

"People leave their jobs, they lost jobs. They didn't have an outlet they started working at home."

Zamariya is an African-inspired, full-service spa that has an array of services. Deneen says it's vital for those dealing with the many stressors that people face daily - made even worse because of COVID-19.

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Deneen says she is a naturalist and she opened her spa just eight months ago. She says many of her clients would come to her after failing to get results elsewhere.

"They would call a doctor, you know prescribe medication and muscle relaxers. It didn't resolve the issues, but the issues were the damage from the stress that they were receiving with the change in lifestyle," Deneen said. "I help you relieve that tension or locate the cause of that muscle tension, not just rub where it hurts."

Trina Johnson is one of her clients, who said she relies on the help from Deneen's services. She has MS and goes to Zamariya regularly. She said it helps her in so many ways including giving her a sense of peace.

"When I walk in the door, I kind of feel tranquil and zen. It feels like home," Johnson said. "I have a lot of tension and stress that I carry in my neck so Anita helps to finds those trigger points and works those to kind

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Deneen said many clients who have dealt with a change in lifestyle because of the coronavirus' affect on jobs and other areas of life come to her once they don't get relief from over-the-counter medications or even doctors who proscribe stronger remedies.

"Headaches that weren't being resolved through an Aleve or a Tylenol, constant headaches that can come from looking at a monitor all day and not getting up. Or sitting in an uncomfortable position that's not normal or ergonomically correct," Deneen said. 

Deneen told WCNC Charlotte she turned to a more natural lifestyle after years of chronic pain, which she says freed herself of the need to take medication. She changed her diet and watched her health drastically improve. Now she does the same for clients who she calls her family.

"When you come here it's not welcome to the spa, it's welcome home because you are home when you're here," she said.

Contact Richard DeVayne at rdevayne@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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