Soteria is derived from the Greek word sozo and carries the connotation of being free, sound, healthy, and whole, living in a place of deliverance and salvation.
Wellness is wholeness and satisfaction in every area of life: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, vocational, and relational--they are all interconnected and touch other areas of our well-being.
The seed for Soteria Wellness’s name was planted more than ten years before our founder, Dawn Olsen, had ever experienced any kind of professional massage or bodywork; although even as a young child she loved earning a penny a minute or a piece of candy for rubbing her mom’s back. One Sunday, Dawn was listening to her pastor expound on the Greek word, Soteria, and the rich meaning it had: a state of being saved, healed, delivered, blessed, prospered and made whole. The thought crossed her mind, “This would be a great name for a massage studio!” Many years later in her massage business classes the seed began springing to life.
Dawn grew up surrounded by family dealing with chronic disease, pain, and the emotional turmoil that so often goes along with it. With this background, Dawn had always felt called to health work and devoted herself for several years to working as a nursing assistant and student nurse before her children were born. While her children were young, Dawn’s interest turned to natural parenting and she trained as a Bradley Method® childbirth instructor and La Leche League leader. As her mom’s health continued to decline, they discovered CranioSacral Therapy (CST) and the profound symptomatic relief it brought her mom from the severe rheumatoid arthritis she dealt with. Dawn’s desire to understand how CST worked and to become empowered to help her mom, and children who also dealt with severe chronic health challenges, inspired her to take her first CST class. By this time, Dawn was living in a continual state of overwhelm from an underlying health condition and years of taking care of everyone but herself: constant musculo-skeletal pain, physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, over 14 years of severe sleep challenges, poor self-image and the health implications of carrying more than 100 pounds of excess weight.
Learning CranioSacral Therapy was the dawning of Dawn’s own healing journey through bodywork and other natural modalities. After two years of training and practicing CST on friends and family in her living room, she sought out additional healing tools by attending Fox Valley School of Massage and receiving her National Board Certification and WI State Licensure. Dawn opened her own practice in 2011 in a single room in a business center on Richmond Street near downtown Appleton. She enjoyed her time there, enhancing her education with advanced certifications in prenatal, labor, postpartum and infant/pediatric massage and bodywork. Our motto, “Enhancing Optimal Health throughout the Lifespan” was born and even today it is not unusual to have clients in a single day ranging in age from newborn into their eighties.
In 2014 Dawn expanded into a new space, a lovely suite of rooms on Silverspring Drive off of GV with a gifted bodyworker who rented space from her, becoming Soteria Wellness’s first Wellness Partner. Providing free community education in infant massage, safe and effective essential oil use, and other natural health topics led to expanding Soteria's motto. “Empowering Individuals & Families with Tools for Natural Wellness” brought clarity and new purpose--transforming lives beyond what happened on the massage table. As Dawn continually researched and trained, investing in other adjunct tools and therapies to enhance health and wellness, her clients more fully embodied that sense of empowerment and forward momentum on their wellness journeys. After three years and sacrificing the break room for a full-spectrum infrared sauna, the space on Silverspring had become too small. It was time to expand into an adjoining suite with space for new therapies and rental rooms for additional Wellness Partners. We learned so much from each other and freely shared clients to get them the best results.
Continued training and pursuing excellence in less well known but extremely powerful bodywork modalities became Soteria’s hallmark. We are continually honing our skills as well as seeking innovative ways to provide new levels of restoration to those who walk through our doors: MediCupping™, Touch for Health™, AromaTouch Technique™, Symphony of the Cells™, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT Tapping) and more. 2018 was a pivotal year and we hired our first staff members to allow Dawn greater freedom to focus on providing specialized bodywork and education. See Our Team for more information on these beautifully gifted people who make Soteria Wellness what it is today!
We are reaping the fruit of our labor of love as we moved into our beautiful new wellness center in May of 2019! We are honored that you are here visiting our site and welcome you to visit us in person in whatever way serves you and your loved ones. It is our privilege to walk alongside you as you rewrite your story to one of greater health and freedom. Together we are creating a healthier, happier tomorrow throughout the Fox Valley and beyond!