Our goal is to give people that toolbox
to help self-care become a lifestyle.

“The present… catch it if you can,” advised Annie Dillard in her splendid meditation on life, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Harper Collins).  Her wisdom echoes as one steps inside the brand new Release Well Being Center tucked along Turnpike Road, in Westborough. Where once sat a muddy field adjacent to a historic landmark (the Nathan Fisher House) there has sprung up a sanctuary which serves up all of the resources to help one do just that – reconnect with the moment at hand.

Yoga, Meditation, a smartly curated boutique, Small Group Personal Training, a Himalayan Salt Room, a Eucalyptus Steam Room, “filtered” sunshine in a state of the art 10,000 Lux Sun Sauna, an outdoor Heated Mineral Spa alongside a fire pit, a menu brimming with cutting edge spa treatments such as Polarity Therapy… Founder (and Executive Coach), Linda Townsend has stopped at nothing in realizing her dream to open an unparelleled holistic wellness center and spa here in the Greater Boston area.  That reality is now a fabulous new addition to the local healthy living and spa scene!  This weekend offers a wonderful opportunity to check out Release as they are celebrating their arrival with an Open House on Saturday from 12 – 5 PM.

“Stress is an epidemic in our country,” cautioned Vivek Murthy, Surgeon general of the Public Health Service, earlier this month in the New York Times.  Ms. Townsend could not agree more and applies the term “white knuckling” when referring to the average person’s day to day.  “People give to their jobs, to family, to friends.  Yet, we feel selfish when we take the time for self-care.  We just forge ahead with this notion that, ‘I’m going to grind through the day, or my workout even.’ We have a culture that fosters that.  It’s unsustainable, and the breaking point can look different for each person – exhaustion, physical illness, depression.  In creating this center, our mission was to make it easier for people to care for themselves – affordable, pleasurable and sustainable.  Our goal is to give people that toolbox to help self-care become a lifestyle.”

This is not your average spa.  “Exhale” was clearly the barometer at every turn in its creation.  Think more along the lines of campus, with the center’s newly constructed 7,000 square foot main building serving as the “sanctuary” and the adjacent, 4,000 square foot completely restored, Nathan Fisher House accommodating Release’s wellness education and meeting space, a soon to be open organic cafe and smaller yoga and meditation studios.  The springtime will bring an outdoor serenity garden as well as additional space for quiet contemplation, lingering and physical fitness.


Release Therapists: Robin (left), Christiana (center and Danielle.

“Bliss… You are now entering it.  Pause, breathe deeply and enjoy this quiet space,” cues the sign on the door of the center’s spa area, the sanctuary’s hub.  It offers designated recharging space for both those preferring tranquility and a separate area for folks wishing to socialize.  In either area, guests are treated to fruit and vegetable infused water, lounging and foot baths while awaiting their treatments.  In addition to a wide range of signature treatments such as Deep Tissue Himalayan Salt Stone Massage, the center’s spa also boasts one of the east coast’s only Sun Saunas – a 135-degree sauna, which includes natural full-spectrum light and near, mid and far-infrared waves, minus the harmful UV rays. Individually both full-spectrum light and full infrared heat are of huge benefit to health and wellness. When used in combination, the benefits of each are multiplied exponentially – increasing natural vitamin D and serotonin production, while cleansing pores and promoting muscle relaxation.  Even the guest locker room showers have a therapeutic slant pulsing a spectrum of chromo light in each individual stall.  The perfect finish to your personal reset!

And, if physical fitness is your fancy, the center offers two designated indoor studios – one with heated floors designed for yoga and the other for spinning, TRX, small group training and customized workouts.  The center’s website probes, “Are you seeking a deeper level of fitness, that goes beyond the ‘no pain, no gain’ philosophy?”  If the answer is “yes”, then Bollywood Dancing, Melt, Barre, Boxing and Below the Belt (which focuses on toning the legs, glutes, and core) are just a sampling of Release’s depths.  One recent morning after a forty-five minute Barre class, two guests looking ready to now seize their days could be heard tossing around status updates such as; “exhausted”, “wonderful”, “sore”, and “coming back” all in the same review.

It’s been some three years since Linda Townsend set out to raise the bar on delivering wellness to the Greater Boston area – a stay at Canyon Ranch having lit the fuse some years prior.  She credits Deepak Chopra and also the yoga instructor Theresa Murphy as influencers along her path.  “Release is so powerful a word for me. Release is anything that is standing in the way of well being.  It can be pain, gossip, toxins, stress. In building both the physical space and our team of professionals, I wanted an energy that was truly accepting of everyone.  Our team ‘walks that walk’. Let’s help people release… that is our goal here.”  Mission clearly accomplished.  And, my thoughts turn back to the dharma of Ms. Dillard, “Experiencing the present is being empty and hollowed.  You don’t run it down, pursue it with baited hooks and nets. You wait for it, empty-handed, and you are filled.”

Release team member Ryan Harris in the Center’s reception area

Release Well Being Center is open daily.  Visit their website for hours of operation, membership information, to book spa treatments or register for special programming, and to view their group fitness class schedule.  Also keep current with Release on Instagram.