School History

Deborah Adams created The Wellness Spa on August 18, 1994, in a small 400 sq. ft. rental space next to the post office in downtown Stevens Point.  In that small massage space, there was one spa treatment room, a reception area with one loveseat, a side chair, and a tiny desk.  And on that August day in 1994, Deborah and her mom, Dee, sat and waited for customers to try out this new type of business that had arrived in Central Wisconsin.  Though many thought it was a place to purchase hot tubs and saunas, (the ‘spa’ word was not known as it is today), after just one year, over 1000 clients came through the doors and one employee was added.

After another year passed, business tripled, and The Wellness Spa moved into an additional 400 sq. ft. More employees were added, and the little massage business was taking off. With another expansion in the existing rental building two years following, it was apparent that this was not just a phase but an actual business worth growing . . . and the small team needed more space. After searching for several years for the right place, Deborah found the real estate that is now 3916 Water St.  As soon as she stepped onto the grounds, she knew this location was someplace special, someplace unique and intriguing.  After touring the old historical home, it was clear that this space would be the perfect setting for the future Wellness Spa she envisioned.

The home was sold to The Wellness Spa in July of 1999 and after an intense three months of hard work – The Wellness Spa moved from downtown to its current location on Highway HH.

The grounds which had some large trees, and a few big stones were transformed into courtyards, pathways, and a seasonal blast of color which attracts visiting birds, butterflies, and small animals year-round. Ospreys and eagles fly overhead, deer wander the field and adjacent woods and a token red fox visit almost daily. Ducks from McDill pond below the spa come up and wait to be fed by anyone willing to give a hand-out on early morning visits. Doves nest in the columns on the front porch each spring and share their offspring that sweetly sit and coo on the railings on the walking ramp. Sparrows share their chattering song as they sing along with the outdoor spa music from our front entrance way.

The spring brings the aroma and incredible vibrant color of lilac trees which surround the property – drivers even slow down and roll down their car windows in the spring to get a whiff of that glorious first smell of summer to come. Summer at The Wellness Spa can be enjoyed by guests as they can wander the property, sit by one of the outdoor fountains, have lunch in the gazebo or simply sit and rock on the front porch of the spa. Fall is filled with a variety of color and the enjoyment of a complimentary community Tai Chi class in the back field overlooking natural preserved parkland. Guests can hop on the adjacent 30 miles of the Green Circle trail to hike or bike or enjoy a try at kayaking just below The Wellness Spa on the river.

The Wellness Spa is a retreat, a place of rest, relaxation and of self-discovery. Pulling into the spa driveway entrance and passing through a pair of one hundred-year-old stone columns, you can start to imagine how special your journey will be. Once you enter this historical building and become encompassed with the calming aromas and soothing sounds, you begin to feel the relaxation over-come you and your body begins to let go of the outside world – you begin to escape, breathe, just be you.

With signature Wellness Spa treatments, many of which Deborah and her staff designed through many years of listening closely to guest.  From these guest comments and wishes, The Wellness Spa has created treatments that are uniquely special and not only enjoyable but truly therapeutic in nature. The Wellness Spa has always been more than a ‘Day Spa’ of fluff and buff services – it has been a goal-oriented, therapy-based spa to help guests recover and get well in whatever form they need.

Massage therapy has always been The Wellness Spa’s focus since Deborah’s background came from rigorous massage training and practice beginning over 29 years ago. Deborah guarantees every massage to be delivered in a manner that attains the utmost quality, ethics, and standards because she believes deeply in The Wellness Spa’s team of massage therapists.  Each massage therapist at The Wellness Spa brings their own unique qualities and techniques and merges them into The Wellness Spa’s signature massages.  This approach provides our guests the consistency and assurance they depend on visit after visit.  In 2005 the spa added onto the existing historical home with a large expansion to provide updated and larger treatment rooms, beautiful locker rooms, a relaxation area, and other facilities.  The Wellness Spa has grown significantly since its beginning in 1994, and now has over 80,000 guests in its book and in life’s journey, it continues to be a magical place of healing and discovery.  Letting yourself go and being taken care of by a professional, knowledgeable, and caring staff is your only responsibility at The Wellness Spa – to set yourself free, give yourself permission to let the world go for a while, restore your body, revive your mind, and replenish your soul.

In 2014, a new kind of spa was added The Wellness Spa . . . the Qi Garden Salt Spa.  A unique therapy designed to help those with respiratory issues, and as just a cool place to relax, the Salt Spa and its legal entity, Qi Garden, Inc. (owned by both Deborah and husband Dave) grew to serving over 4600 guests.  Then in 2018, Qi Garden added wellness-based overnight accommodations as Deborah and Dave purchased a 1941 stone cottage sitting on 5-acres of land a mere 1 mile from The Wellness Spa.  With the renovation of that cottage in 2020, Water Dragon Inn was born, which now serves as a quiet, healing overnight accommodations space to many visitors each year.

As the family of companies continued to expand, one long standing opportunity kept presenting itself: What if we started a Massage Therapy school that focused on training massage therapists rigorously in therapeutic massage?  This, combined with the fact that Deborah’s husband, Dave, had a deep interest and experience in the field of education . . . and in 2023, timing and opportunity aligned, and Deborah, Dave and Ella Adams launched The Wellness School officially in May, 2023.

The school facilities are built as a new expansion to the buildings on The Wellness Spa property and Wellness Spa customers and others from the general public serve as clients in The Wellness School’s student clinic.  In total, The Wellness School facility offers 4700 sq ft to students, instructors and staff, which includes classroom spaces, student clinic suites offices and a large shared already existing multipurpose room inside The Wellness Spa main building.

We look forward to serving many students for years to come, as wellness oriented individuals discover a rewarding and meaningful career in Massage Therapy.