When Ani Kaiser—an art school alum, Hudson Valley native, and licensed massage therapist with years of experience—opened Birch Body Care health and wellness spa in 2012, she had a singular goal in mind: to create a “healing sanctuary” where everyone is welcome. Seven years down the line, her business, located on Crown Street in Uptown Kingston, is still doing just that.
“Our focus is really providing excellent skincare and massage.”
– Ani Kaiser, owner
Ani describes the space as “beautiful, but not pretentious.” Her team of about 15 licensed massage therapists, estheticians, and receptionists cater to everyone, regardless of factors like gender, age, or sexual orientation. And Birch Body Care is a true community resource: a majority of her customers are locals who incorporate the body care services offered at Birch into their regular health and wellness routines. “If I go to a hotel spa when I travel, I never expect the massage to be good,” she explains. “The space may be beautiful, but the level of service might not be there. Our focus is really providing excellent skincare and massage.”
About two years ago, Ani doubled the size of her business’s location, expanding the retail area and adding more massage rooms. She’s continuously expanding Birch Body Care’s spa menu, though plenty of clients—repeat customers and out-of-towners alike—prefer the same services.
The most popular massage offered at Birch is “hands-down, the combo massage,” which incorporates multiple therapeutic techniques and targets one or more trouble areas on a client’s body. The most popular facial? “The Birch custom facial, which is customized to your skin type and whatever’s going on with your skin,” she explains.
A “healing sanctuary” where everyone is welcome….
Recently, Ani also added Cannabidiol oil, or CBD oil, to the spa’s menu. “I’m not one to hop on spa trends,” she says, “but CBD is a really interesting therapeutic tool that we now have at our disposal.” According to Ani, the plant-based oil’s anti-inflammatory properties make it “sort of a cure-all” that’s helpful for treating anxiety, muscle and joint pain, and common skincare concerns like hormonal acne or rosacea. “I’m very excited about it,” she shares. “We can do a full-body [CBD] massage add-on or incorporate it into a more focused massage session.”
Moving forward, Ani hopes to continue evolving Birch Body Care’s spa menu and massage therapy techniques. She also plans to keep her ethos of healing and inclusivity at the core of what she does. “Once I started doing massage therapy and seeing how I was very literally affecting a change in [my clients’] bodies—helping them relax and heal—I felt really great,” she recalls. “And [creating] a spa, a place where I could do that on a bigger scale, is still something I really enjoy.”
Birch Body Care Kingston
73 Crown Street, Kingston