Finding my Center at Aji Spa

This past Monday, I had the experience of a lifetime at the Aji Spa & Salon @ Sheraton Wildhorse Pass Resort & Spa! It was such an amazing day for me, and I had some very eye-opening conversations with Michael, my massage therapist, and Gloria, my salon specialist. I’m so eager to share some of the things that I learned from them during my visit to Aji Spa 🙂

From the moment I pulled into the Aji Spa parking lot I started to feel excited. This place looks so incredibly peaceful and luxurious! she1391sp-19218-Aji Spa

The word “Aji” means Sanctuary in the Pima language, named after the nearby Aji Mountain located on the Gila River Indian Community where women and children would go in times of war. The underlying theme for the Aji Spa is finding one’s center.

“…in order to rebuild ourselves after the storm we have to find our center.”


she1391sp-39045-Stream at Aji
The view on my way to the front door! So beautiful!
she1391lo-140575-Aji Spa Main Lobby
The Front Lobby @ Sheraton Wildhorse Resort & Spa’s Aji Spa & Salon.
Relaxing in the waiting room before my Aji Massage, enjoying some Rooibos Tea 🙂
she1391sp-165604-Aji Massage
This is a picture of a massage session from the Sheraton Wildhorse Pass Resort & Spa‘s website. My massage therapist was Michael, who’s been with the Aji Spa for 14 years! 

I ordered the Aji Awaken Package, which is a Spring package that includes the Aji Massage and a Foot Refresher. It’s an experience that I would recommend everyone try at least once. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect! We’re about to move across the country again back to Georgia from Arizona. I also had a stubborn knot on the left side of my neck that felt painful all the way down my left shoulder blade.

Michael, my masseuse, did such a wonderful job working out the sore muscles and releasing the toxins from them. He told me that emotions are very powerful, and that they hold a lot of pain inside of our bodies. “Old emotions hold a lot of pain inside the body and causes muscles to become tense. Sometimes we need to release the pain and let go of those negative emotions.” He told me that sometimes people cry during the massage because the touch causes them to remember and feel old memories. “There’s a transfer of energy that happens between us when I touch you,” he explained. “Sometimes when I massage a certain spot I’ll cough out of nowhere. It’s the negative energy being absorbed and released through me.”  This really hit me – it was a light bulb moment!

It all makes complete sense to me, but I never really understood it until he explained it in that way. We store toxins in our bodies as a result of feeling negative emotions such as anger, resentment, guilt, etc. When someone releases that negative energy through touch therapy, the energy has to go somewhere and it’s usually into the person who’s opening the door. I told Michael that I never realized what was going on until now, but now I know why I feel fear and anxiety while I groom. It only happens when I’m grooming a dog that is fearful or aggressive. Then I really have to focus on my breathing. When I massage the pressure points around the head and ears to help relieve their anxiety, I actually start to feel anxious. That’s when I take a deep breath in and relax my body as I breathe out. Dog groomers, in a sense, really are spiritual healers for dogs. But we must be aware that there is an energy exchange that happens when we touch them. Sometimes when we start to feel frustrated or upset, it could be the dog’s emotions being transferred to us. This concept adds a whole new level to my grooming game. 🙂

Gloria on the left (my right), and Michael on the right (my left). I can’t say enough good things about them! Thank you for making my first spa experience such a pleasant one! 
she1391sp-114899-Aji Spa - Full Service Salon
After the massage was the Foot Refresher, where I got to know Gloria a little better.

I loved the Foot Refresher service with Gloria. It’s an exfoliation and nail cleaning along with nail shaping and filing. It made me laugh because that’s usually what I tell my clients about my dog grooming service! 🙂 I felt a bit nervous at first, but she really helped me feel comfortable with having my feet touched. I actually apologized! LOL! She told me that she loves helping people feel better, and she’s never felt grossed out by anyone’s feet. I loved her passion! It’s exactly how I feel about the dogs that I groom.

As we continued talking, I found out that in order to be licensed they get tested mainly on sanitation. They don’t really care about how you clip the nails or paint them – that’s up to your personal artistic style. What they really want you to know is about keeping the customer safe by properly sanitizing your tools and equipment. The thought that immediately popped up in my head was, “The grooming industry could really benefit from licensing standards like this.” I’ve been guilty of using my clippers on a dog without sanitizing the blade first. Just because we’re working on dogs doesn’t mean we don’t have to be just as careful about cross-contamination. There are trillions of bacteria, fungus and germs that live on a dog’s body at all times. The unique bacteria/fungus combination that is on one dog’s skin may not work well with another dog’s skin – even if both dogs are healthy.

Michael Gazda, Massage Therapist & Gloria Zamura, Salon Specialist 
she1391sp-89535-Aji Spa at sunset
After the my Aji Awaken Package, I sat by the pool to write in my journal – but I didn’t write anything. Nothing came to mind. So I took the opportunity to just be still and enjoy the moment. I’m always trying to DO something, rather than just BE. This was such a great opportunity to find my center – especially after the storms I’ve just been through.




she1391sp-39043-Aji Spa Aerial
An aerial view of the Aji Spa & Salon @ Sheraton Wildhorse Pass Resort & Spa that I pulled from their website:



In closing, I’d like to quickly share how this day was made possible without disclosing too many details. The Pet Club has an amazing regional manager named Malissa Diener. I love Malissa 🙂 She’s innovative, open-minded, and passionate about grooming. It was because of a contest she put together that I was able to have this incredible experience. So thank you so much, Malissa and The Pet Club! I originally set this appointment for my wife so she could enjoy a day of pampering, but she insisted that I go instead. Michael, the masseuse, even called out for “Mrs. Yun” 🙂 I looked at him apologetically as I raised my hand. So another big “Thank You” to my amazing wife! I love you!! 

Another HUGE “Thank You!!!” goes out to all of you who support my mission to create awareness on the importance of properly grooming our dogs. I genuinely appreciate all your encouraging comments and emails! It means so much to me that the information that I share is helping pets all around the world feel comfortable in their own skin. 🙂


2 thoughts on “Finding my Center at Aji Spa

  1. Loved your YouTube channel and now I love your blog!

    Best wishes during your journey back to Georgia! Wish you were coming to Vegas (then you could groom my dog)

    Liked by 1 person

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