Archive for Wednesday, October 31, 2001

Lunaria massages alternative health

October 31, 2001


Company: Lunaria Holistic Health Center, 1103 Mass., and Lunaria Bodywork Institute, 1414 W. Sixth St.

Owner: Anna Lunaria, owner and director.

Number of employees: 30.

Years in business: The center has been operating since 1997; the institute has been going since 1998.

Main products and services: The center offers massage therapy, yoga and tai chi classes; provides traditional Chinese medicine through acupuncture and Chinese herbs; and sells products including aromatherapy, chimes, candles, prisms, tarot, Tibetan prayer flags, books, music, massage oils, lotions, yoga props, videos, homeopathic remedies and flower remedies.

The institute provides 500 hours of professional massage therapy training, and massage classes for the public and professional massage therapist.

Why is the Lawrence area a good place for the business? "Lawrence is a town that inspires the entrepreneurial spirit," Lunaria said. "In addition, Lawrence's well-educated, thriving community seems to recognize the value of using preventative alternative healing techniques to take care of themselves."

What are the company's growth plans? The institute intends to boost enrollment in its 500-hour training classes to help satisfy increasing demand among spas and hospitals for massage therapists, Lunaria said.

The center's business, meanwhile, already has grown by 120 percent since opening four years ago, she said.

"It has been incredible to witness the increasing popularity of holistic health modalities," Lunaria said. "Last year we added Hot Rock massage. This year we'll introduce more specialty treatments."

Where do you see the business in five years? Lunaria wants the institute to expand its enrollment and offer continuing-education classes for professional massage therapists.

As for the center, Lunaria said, "perhaps in five years LHHC's growth will prompt a west Lawrence location that specializes in spa treatments," she said.

Something you may be surprised to learn about the business: Now that Lunaria's husband, Lance Gharavi, works as a theater professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz. having completed his doctorate in theater at Kansas University Lunaria now lives part-time in Arizona and part-time in Kansas.

If you have a business or employee with a story to tell, contact Mark Fagan, business editor, at (785) 832-7188 or

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