The Spa Journey

Educator Debra Koerner (left) and Deborah Szekely

I’m an inspiration junkie, and every year I love tuning in to the International SPA Conference (ISPA) for a fix! This year didn’t disappoint.

One of my 2016 gems was crossing paths with the dynamic duo behind imassage, Inc.: Eric Stephenson and Debra Koerner. Stephenson is an ISPA board member, spa consultant, and director of education for Elements Massage; Koerner is an author, educator, and business consultant. They were busy in the ISPA spotlight, but are really excited to debut her latest project in the ResortSuite booth studio. Koerner’s launching her wellness show—The Journey Into Wellbeing’s Senior Moments—on PBS this autumn. One of her first segments shines the light on Deborah Szekely, the 94-year-old cofounder of Rancho La Puerta in Baja. She and her late husband opened this landmark destination spa in 1940 and she’s still very active in its growth and the evolution of the spa industry.

Check out to get a sense of the segment. And stay tuned for more information as Koerner’s plans come to fruition. Stephenson and Koerner know the spa world inside out, and they walk their talk: living a healthy lifestyle, being open to change, and embracing opportunity.

And they were just one pocket of inspiration! Keynote speakers Brené Brown and Simon Sinek were top-notch. In the past I’ve learned from the Life is Good cofounder Bert Jacobs (2011) and TOMS shoes guru Blake Mycoskie (2013). I can hardly wait to see who will take the podium in 2017.

—If you’re interested in a spa career, visit the “Careers” section on It’s free for individuals looking for their niche.

—Leslie A. Young, PhD, is vice president communications for Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals.


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Read the May / June 2022 Issue of Massage & Bodywork Magazine

The May/June 2022 issue of ABMP's Massage & Bodywork magazine is available at ABMP members get a print subscription as part of membership, and the digital edition is available online and free to the profession.

In this issue, we explore pelvic tilt and spinal compensation, improving bodywork through breath, and how listening to your clients is a superpower. We also discuss SI joint dysfunction, overuse injuries, and much more!⁠

Cupping Canada Inc. and Mobile Massage Mastery GIVEAWAY: Value over $2,022!

Cupping Canada Inc. and Mobile Massage Mastery GIVEAWAY—value over $2,022!

3 lucky participants will win shared prizes:

• 16 CE live online Evidence Informed Clinical Cupping course from Cupping Canada & Cupping USA (NCBTMB approved & Canadian approvals) - valued at $405 CAD

• Online course starter kit, tie dye silicone drinking glass & silicone straw kit from Cupping Canada and Cupping USA - valued at $120 CAD

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course: Updating our Hands-On Approach

Learn about the properties of fascia and hands-on techniques for working with fascia in the leg. Join Til Luchau and Whitney Lowe for this engaging course that explores the composition and roles of fascia and collagen and demonstrates several myofascial hands-on techniques focused on the fascia in the leg and the sartorius, gracilis, semitendinosus, and pes anserinus muscles.

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