Healing Hands

Updated: Feb 6

Wellness-centered spa cares for the whole self By Jillian Chandler

Photo courtesy of Kiersten Patterson Photography

“We both had a vision to see a place of healing here in Sandpoint.”

With a passion for health and healing, Arla Markael and Christopher Kalinowski are the proud owners of Highlands North Day Spa, which they purchased from the previous owner in the summer of 2018.

Christopher, who has a healing touch with his massage experience, graduated from Boulder College of Massage Therapy, which, during the time he attended, was ranked the No. 1 and No. 3 massage school in the world for different modalities. He went on to work with doctors, surgeons, chiropractors and osteopaths, learning the many angles on how best to serve his clients. A lifelong learner, he has studied many advanced techniques that he enjoys teaching at the North Idaho Massage Academy and to the Highlands North staff.

Arla is a graduate of University of Idaho where she received her degree in education with a minor in health and completed her student teaching right here in Sandpoint. After graduating, Arla stayed up on current research in the health field with classes, reading, research and listening to doctors in the health field. She also became very passionate about non-invasive healing methods.

To further enhance their shared passion for health and healing, Arla and Christopher purchased the North Idaho Massage Academy, as Christopher was an instructor in the Pathology 102 class, designing the curriculum for that class. The pair then decided they also wanted to purchase the Highlands North Day Spa as part of their larger vision and heart for the local community.

“We deeply believe in whole being wellness. Too often, only part of the person receives wellness help, leaving the body out of balance,” says Arla. “It’s been incredibly rewarding seeing clients come in with various issues and walk out feeling incredibly better, with real healing taking place.”

At Highlands North Day Spa, they not only provide massage (hot stone, Thai, relaxation, deep tissue and therapeutic), facials and anti-aging skin care, but acupuncture, Body Talk energy healing, infrared sauna, an Anespa mineral shower which heals skin and hair, and Kangen alkaline water. “We are looking to expand by having a chiropractor and a nutritionist, meditation and yoga on board in the building, forming a membership/partnership, so that all areas of the body and mind/spirit can be addressed,” says Arla. “At least that’s the vision.”

In addition to their wellness treatments, they offer beauty services as well. “We have wonderful staff who do lash lifts, tints and extensions, nail and hair care—with some of the best hair stylists around—and spray tanning. “Our staff are friendly, kind and excited to be in a place that is about healing and care,” smiles Arla.

“We recognize here that how you are treated, how you feel emotionally, and what is going on affects the body just as much as a physical injury,” she adds. “To heal the body, you have to look at the whole. Too often, the mind body connection is left out. That’s one beautiful thing about massage as a part of our focus, is that massage can help the body release emotional trauma as well as help heal the physical.”

Arla and Christopher are truly grateful to their clients and staff and to have the privilege to be able to serve the community through their work at Highlands North Day Spa. Arla adds: “It’s a joy to be here and be a part of the beautiful place we call home.”


Highlands North Day Spa 1315 Highway 2, Suite 5 Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 208.263.3211 HighlandsNorthDaySpa.com

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