A spa is born: local business, Green Spa, gets national press

If you have ever taken the subway to Astoria or Central Park,you have probably ridden through the tunnels that 84-year-old BayRidge resident James Brody helped build in the 1970s.

The work took its toll. In 1993, Brody was diagnosed with coalworker’s pneumoconiosis or black lung disease — eventuallyrequiring an around-the-clock lung ventilator. He was told it wasincurable. Walking was a challenge.

Nearly 20 years later, Brody is happy, healthy and off theventilator, due in no small part to the efforts of the Green Spaand Wellness Center on Third Avenue between 88th and 89th Street.The spa, opened by Brody’s daughters Sheila and Maureen withbusiness partner Maria Ingardia in 1998, began providing the formerlaborer with complimentary acupuncture before moving onto massageand other treatments.

[I feel] very good now, Brody said. I’ve improved a lot sinceI started coming here.

Brody’s recovery led to national press from DAYSPA Magazine,which named Green Spa the number one wellness center in America inthe publication’s January issue.

There’s a lot of talk about alternative medicine, but there’snot a lot of factual evidence, Sheila explained. So this was oneof the reasons [DAYSPA Magazine was] very interested in it.

On January 27, State Senator Marty Golden awarded the spa with aNew York State Senate Proclamation celebrating the business’sindustry recognition.

This is something that is essentially needed in our familiesand our communities, Golden said of the treatment offered at GreenSpa. It works. It makes you feel good.

The senator also thanked the business owners for employing 50people in the neighborhood.

Thank you for being the success you are, Golden said. Thanksfor having a great store and employing 50 people in ourcommunity.

According to Sheila, local ties are extremely important to thebusiness.

That word is really strong for me, because this community hassupported us tremendously, she said, adding, We’re embedded. Wesupport our community and I feel the support back. I feel theenergy you put out, the commitment you put out, you get back.That’s what we’re feeling now.

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