Friday, November 30, 2018

Business Spotlight on Lisa DeFosse Massage and Karen Tibbetts of Foot Path Reflexology

By Lorraine Glowczak

The use of integrative approaches to wellness has grown in the U.S. in recent years. It emphasizes a holistic method that includes mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of an individual, treating the whole person rather than one specific area of concern. Many people turn to alternative therapies for pain relief when traditional treatments fail or as a complement to conventional medicine. Offering alternative and integrative healthcare as a way toward a complete healthy lifestyle is one of the main purposes’ local holistic practitioners, Lisa DeFosse of Lisa DeFosse Massage Therapy and Karen Tibbetts of Foot Path Reflexology, work together.

Besides massage, DeFosse is a Reiki Master who is in the process of becoming a Bowenwork Practitioner and Tibbetts is a Reflexologist as well as a Health Coach. They both discovered their line of work by first experiencing the positive effects their particular modalities had on their own lives. They share their stories as well as the reasons they offer their services to the greater Lakes Region community at their office, 57 Tandberg Trail in Windham.

“I was receiving a massage one day and thought to myself, ‘Wow this would be a really relaxing job and I could probably do this’.” DeFosse said. “Little did I realize how much I would love helping people in this way and how rewarding it would be for me.”

DeFosse graduated from Spa Tech Institute in 2005 and gained her Reiki Master Certification in 2007. She is currently studying Bowenwork in Arundel through Ainslee Farrington, an instructor for the American Bowen Academy and plans to be certified by spring 2019.

Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues and Reiki is a Japanese technique where the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch. Bowenwork is also a system of touch.

DeFosse explained that Bowenwork is comprised of gentle moves applied to specific points on the body with significant pauses or rests between the moves. The work takes the body out of fight/flight mode and puts it into rest/repair/relax mode. “It's like rebooting your computer but instead, you are rebooting your connections in your body,” DeFosse said.

Karen Tibbetts and Lisa DeFosse
Much like DeFosse, Tibbetts discovered her method of therapeutic healing by accident. She had been experiencing multiple sinus infections of which traditional medicine was not healing.  “I was being treated with antibiotics and nose sprays for quite some time and the infection wasn’t going away. A friend recommended that I try reflexology. After an eight-week session, which I combined with homeopathic medicine, my sinus infection went away. That was three years ago, and I haven’t had an infection since.” It was at the suggestion of her reflexologist that Tibbetts decided to enter the field herself, becoming a certified reflexologist in 2015 by Myra Achorn of “Treat your Feet School” in Augusta.

Reflexology is a specific touch technique that applies pressure to the reflex points of the feet, hand and ears which all correspond to the gland organ systems of the body. “The physical act of applying pressure with thumb and fingers to these reflex areas results in improving circulation and body stress,” explained Tibbetts. “It also promotes physiological changes, improves circulation and reduces body stress.”

Tibbetts is also a health coach. “I offer a health program that is much more than a diet,” she stated. “This nutrition-based program is easy to follow with very little food preparation involved. Clients have my support as well as that of an online community. Utilizing all components of the program will lead to lifelong transformation one healthy habit at a time.”

While DeFosse and Tibbetts offer different methods to holistic healing, the separate practices act in harmony with one another and increase an individual’s overall wellbeing. “Reflexology and Bowenwork both work with the nervous system and complement each other well,” stated DeFosse. “We have clients who alternate each week - Bowen one week and Reflexology the next and they like the way they work together. Massage and Reflexology also complement each other. Massage helps you relax every muscle in your body and reflexology can go even deeper to points in your organs and systems. Karen and I can work together to schedule someone if they want to receive reflexology and massage on the same day back to back.”

DeFosse and Tibbetts agree that caring for oneself is the greatest preventative measure and contributes to long lasting health. “Self-care is so important,” DeFosse said. “Just like a lantern needs fuel to provide light, so does your body need self-care so that you can shine your light more brightly. Women especially tend to put themselves last and not take time for self-care and we want to stress that it's not a luxury but a necessity. Once we learn to love ourselves and care for ourselves, then we are better able to care for others.”

To learn more about the above services or to make an appointment, contact DeFosse at 207-329-8826 or on her webpage at and contact Tibbetts at 207-890-1633 or on her Facebook page, Foot Path Reflexology. Tibbetts also offers her services in Oxford.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Business Spotlight: Carousel Horse Farm Briana Bizier

Are you looking for a unique holiday gift that could be enjoyed in any season? Perhaps you’d like to
treat yourself or your family to a fun Maine adventure that’s not far from home, or maybe you want to entice out-of-town friends and family members to come for a visit? Either way, Carousel Horse Farm in Casco has the answer!

Offering a wide range of rides, Carousel Horse Farm has something to tempt horse lovers of all ages and abilities. Many of the trail rides and sleigh rides depart from Carousel Horse Farm’s stables at 69 Leach Hill Road in Casco, which backs the 5,000-acre Jugtown Forest.

Access to Jugtown trails really makes us unique,” explains Tiffany Payton, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Equine Business Administration and has been in business for over twenty five years. Payton traveled all over the country and the world driving horses, and now she uses her experience to offer wagon, carriage, and sleigh rides in addition to horseback trail rides.

Unlike many other riding stables, most of the horses at Carousel have lived on Payton’s Casco farm for their entire lives. Each horse’s story is featured on Carousel’s website,, giving riders the chance to get to know the horses before booking their rides. However, Payton adds, the choice of which horse to ride is ultimately up to her guides and will depend on several factors, including properly fitting equipment. Also, the horses rotate their days off.

Beginner horseback riders are always welcome at Carousel Horse Farm. “We have a first-time rider almost every time we go out,” Payton explained. Children must be at least six years old for a horseback trail ride, and all potential riders must be able to use a two-step mounting block unassisted. If you’d like to enjoy the woods this winter with younger children, Carousel also offers a horse-drawn sleigh ride with hot cocoa and a homemade dessert for all ages.

During the warmer months, Carousel offers a wide variety of horseback trail rides, ranging from one-hour long beginner rides to a four-hour ride to the top of Quaker Ridge. One of the most popular summertime horseback rides is the Pear’s Ice Cream Run, which takes riders on a 1.5-hour ride to Pear’s Ice Cream stand, where the horses wait at an old-fashioned hitching post while their riders enjoy a well-earned ice cream cone.

Ice cream season may be over for this year, but there’s still fun to be had on horseback. “We’re the only horseback riding company in Maine to offer year-round trail rides,” Payton stated. Carousel’s Winter Wonderland ride is an hour-long horseback ride through the snowy woods behind the stables. “Lots of people will say, ‘I didn’t know you could ride horses in the winter,’” Payton said, with a smile. “It’s like any other winter activity. Dress appropriately, and you can have a lot of fun.”

All the rides at Carousel Horse Farm must be booked in advance online. For the Winter Wonderland ride, this gives Payton and her team a chance to email riders with suggestions about what to wear to stay warm in the Maine woods.

The Winter Wonderland ride isn’t Carousel Horse Farm’s only special offering for the season. If you’ve ever dreamed of riding a beautiful horse past crashing waves, their Beach Ride is your chance to live your dream! Riders meet at Popham Beach for an hour-long ride on the sand. Because the beach is closed to equestrians during the summer, this ride is only offered October through March.
Now is the perfect time to think about booking horseback rides, because Carousel Horse Farm only offers their Trail Pass during the months of November and December. The Trail Pass, which can be found on their website (, offers 50% off all beginner rides and can also be applied to other rides. Because there is no limit on how many Trail Passes you can buy, and no expiration date, these make excellent gifts for everyone on your list!

For more information call 207-627-4471 or find them on Facebook.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Business Spotlight on PNF - Personalized Nutrition and Fitness the first step towards changing your health is often the hardest. At Personalized Nutrition and
Fitness (PNF) the trainers know this, and they strive to make you comfortable once you are through the door. “When people first come in through the door they have done the hardest part”, states Mark York, co-owner of the Windham based fitness business. “Our goal is that once people are here, they will see that we have something for everyone and work to make them comfortable”, says Mark.

PNF has recently changed locations, according to Whitney Sullivan, co-owner, “The only change is our awesome new location”. The new location has similar amenities to the previous location, with a “slam wall”, indoor turf area, and floor area with mirrors, but this new space has more to offer including outdoor turf, TRX suspension, restroom with a shower, and more parking. Whitney explains that they are excited about their outdoor options as well, “It’s always nice to take training outside on a beautiful day”.

This space lends itself to a variety of classes and training options. PNF hosts six classes a day that offer a variety to our local population. These classes range from Youth Fitness, spinning, TRX classes, Silver and Fit and more. “We love being able to offer a variety of classes, because health and fitness isn’t just for one population, it’s for everyone”, shares Mark. 

This is evident in the Youth Fitness class offered at the facility on Mondays and Wednesdays. This class offers youth from 7 to 12 years of age a chance to be active year round, an often includes fun and motivating games that keep the youth interested and active.  On the other end of the spectrum, the Silver and Fit class is geared towards participants 55 years and over. “This class provides many modes of exercise using weights, rubber bands, and incorporates balance to help our seniors with their activities of daily living”, Whitney reveals, “all while listening to music and socializing”. Mark adds, “It’s a special group, they have been together exercising for years and have all grown to know and care about each other, we are proud to be part of it”.

Whitney Sullivan and Mark York
PNF also offers personalized training with one-on-one sessions and small group sessions. This allows for the trainer to focus the workout to meet the needs of the client. “It’s not uncommon for people to have a sore back, shoulders, knees, etc. So when we work one-on-one with clients we can focus on their needs to make sure everything is done safely”, Mark states, “People’s goals and reasons for working out can be different, we are able to personalize their workout to help meet these goals”. Whitney adds, “We also offer a wide range of nutrition programs that help our client’s meet their goals and special needs, we become invested in our client’s health and want to give them the tools to be successful”.

Whitney and Mark have been training in Windham for a combined total of over twenty years. It is clear that they have a passion for health and fitness. “We have seven trainers that work here with us, and it’s important for us not only do they know the science for this, but they are approachable and invested in our clients,” Whitney shares. “All of our trainers have a Bachelor’s degree in health-related fields; they are very knowledgeable and like to stay on the cutting edge of fitness”.

“We hope that when people come in, they are comfortable, that they can work towards their goals, and have fun doing this” the two owners agree.

Mark and Whitney invite you to come see their new location at 15 Storm Drive, Windham and experience PNF for yourself with the coupon for a free class in the ad below. For more information visit their website at or call 207-892-8333. You can also find them on Facebook.


Friday, November 9, 2018

Business Spotlight: Champion K9 Care Briana Bizier

Few things are as exciting as the moment you bring home a new member of the family. From
sleepless nights to lessons about potty training, welcoming a puppy into your home is a major commitment.

Tina Constantine and her daughter Abby of Champion K9 Care in Windham are here to help! A self-described “stay-at-home farm mom,” Tina has recently opened her home to puppies between the ages of eight weeks to twelve months. Pups who come to spend the day are treated to plenty of one-on-one attention, outdoor play time, walks through the forest, and basic training.

Sometimes, puppies can get into trouble if they’re left home alone,” Tina explains. “You hear people
say, ‘Oh, my puppy ripped up the couch.’ That can happen when they’re bored.”

When puppies come to Champion K9 Care, they have the chance to exercise, to socialize with other dogs and humans, and to become better canine citizens. Basic training is emphasized, so puppies learn to keep four paws on the floor, to sit when they’re receiving treats, to walk with a leash and to settle in their crates for nap time.

Located on a quiet road in Windham, Champion K9 Care is part of a working farm. Leaves fluttered through the air as Tina led me on a tour of their expansive outdoor play area for the pups, which features a “ball tree” full of tennis and soccer balls and a large fenced-in area where pups can play safely. We work on playing with balls, and we do a lot of work on potty training,” Tina explains.

Larger doggie daycare facilities, Tina tells me, will sometimes have concrete floors and no designed place for “potty time,” which can be very confusing to a young puppy. Champion K9 Care, on the other hand, is run out of Tina and Abby’s home. So, potty training is important here,” Tina adds, with a laugh.

During my visit, the pups were enjoying “nap time” in their crates. Several adorable puppies snuggled stuffed animals while soft music played in the background of the quiet, warm, and carpeted room. Tina explains the puppies get several playtimes and nap times during the day, as well as lunch. The room is cleaned only with natural products, because puppies have such a habit of exploring the world with their mouths!

The walls of the pup’s nap room are lined with ribbons Tina and Abby, who breed dogs of their own, have won in various dog shows. “I did have a dog who showed in Westminster,” Tina tells me, pointing to a picture of a gorgeous golden retriever. “That was pretty exciting.”

Despite her history with purebreds, Tina emphasizes that all puppies are welcome at Champion K9 Care, regardless of their pedigree. “Lots of bigger doggie daycares don’t accept puppies,” Tina explains. “We’re trying to fill that niche and provide home care for younger dogs.” Their goal is to have your puppy get the one-on-one care they need to blossom into an obedient and happy dog that you can be proud of.

In addition to their training program and regular day care, Champion K9 Care also offers baths and nail clippings, as well as the option to add additional training sessions for your puppy. Consistent, positive interaction and teaching will be the guide to their future behavior and they know the importance of providing a learning environment while allowing the dog to still be able to be a puppy.

Abby, a current student at York County Community College, is enrolled in their Animal Care and Management program, where she’s learning how to manage a pet care business. While Abby attends classes, Tina watches the puppies. The dogs are never alone,” Tina explains. “We’re here to provide a good, safe, fun place to come and enjoy the day. Dogs get so excited they jump right out of the car when they arrive,” Tina adds, with a laugh. “Because all of their friends are here!”

With the holidays approaching, keep in mind that Champion K9 Care also offers gift certificates. If you know someone who has just welcomed a new four-legged arrival, both the owner and the puppy will love the gift of fun-filled farm days at Champion K9 Care!

They are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Puppies can be dropped off or picked up at Champion K9 Care at any time. For more information or for a tour of their daycare located at 8 Cartland Road in Windham please call 892-9363. You can also find them on Facebook. They are excited to welcome your puppy into their home.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Business Spotlight on University Credit Union Maine, we enjoy one of the highest homeownership rates in the country at over 71 percent as of
2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This isn’t surprising, considering Maine’s rental market is among the least affordable in the nation, according to a 2018 study from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Mainers understand that homeownership is not only an important step to achieving financial security, but is an opportunity to lay local roots that can last for generations.

The “buy local” movement has made shopping close to home second nature on things like groceries, but we don’t often think about “buying local” when it comes to the home buying process. And that, experts say, is one of the most important “buy local” decisions a person can make.

“We are one of the few credit unions in Maine to service our mortgages in-house, including Rural Housing loans, meaning your loan stays local,” said April Gleason, vice president of lending for University Credit Union. “I’ve heard stories from first-time buyers who didn’t think about what could happen to their loan after they closed, or why it mattered. Then, the servicing is sold and buyers must make payments to different lenders or servicers, which can be confusing and frustrating when payment and escrow questions occur. We strongly encourage prospective buyers to take a first-time homebuyer education course to get familiar with the entire mortgage process. Being a successful homeowner starts with education.

Gleason says, it’s not just buying a house that matters – it’s how you buy it. As member-owned financial institutions, credit unions operate on a different model than traditional banks, one focused on delivering better value and service for members, not investors. While membership sounds like a barrier, “there’s a credit union for everyone,” adds Gleason.

This is especially true at University Credit Union (or UCU for short), where anyone with an affiliation to the University of Maine System can join. This is just one reason UCU is one of the largest credit unions in Maine, with 28,000 members, 175 shared branching locations and eight UCU branches around the state, including Forest Avenue in Portland and on the USM campus in nearby Gorham. Founded in 1967 on the University of Maine campus in Orono, UCU is Maine’s only full-service financial institution created to serve University of Maine System students, alumni, employees and their families.

“One of the things that makes UCU unique is how multi-generational our membership is,” explains Gleason. “We just celebrated our 50th anniversary, and we have members in retirement who have been with us since college, and whose children and grandchildren are UCU members. Our products and services reflect this broad range of financial needs, from the first savings account to the first retirement account, from the first car to the first home, which often surprises folks who think credit unions are too small to help. In fact, we can usually do just as much, and in some cases more, for you than larger banks, especially on mortgages.”

Being a financial institution rooted in Maine’s public university system, UCU believes educating members is just as important as serving them and regularly partners with Maine hoMEworks, a nonprofit dedicated to educating Mainers about the home-buying process, to offer low-to-no-cost education courses around the state.

Gleason, who serves on the board of Maine hoMEworks and is a frequent presenter, believes these courses are one of the best ways to clear up the mystery around homebuying and avoid costly mistakes in terms of time and money, both of which are essential to navigate Maine’s hot real estate market.

For at least one local resident, the homebuying experience with UCU was very positive.

“I can’t stress enough how important attending the First-Time Home Buyers class was in preparing me for this endeavor,” says Vinnie, a UCU member from Casco who recently closed on his first home (pictured above). “All the information provided, from types of loans, home inspections, insurance and much more helped lay the groundwork for me to purchase this new home. On top of the information learned, the $3,500 from the Maine State Housing Program was an amazing addition to an already awesome learning experience.”

To learn more about membership eligibility and how UCU can help you meet your financial goals, visit or call 800-696-8628. Federally Insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 407658.